RT GETS BANNED FROM FACEBOOK UNTIL AFTER TRUMP’S INAUGURATION
In a surprise move, RT (formerly known as Russia Today) has been banned from posting articles, photos, and videos to Facebook. The ban was instituted yesterday after RT allegedly ran a pirated stream of Obama’s last press conference. The ban is scheduled to be lifted at 2:35pm ET on Saturday, the day after Trump’s inauguration.[Update, 2:38pm: Facebook just lifted the ban, which lasted about 20 hours, but the company still hasn’t gotten back to us about why RT was specifically banned in the first place. The State Department has also not responded to a request for comment.] [Update, 2:52pm: Facebook just sent us this statement confirming that the ban had been lifted: “All the features for this page owner have now been restored. We are looking into the reasons behind the temporary block.”]
While RT has been banned from posting articles, the news outlet is still able to post text directly to Facebook. The Kremlin-funded media outlet was an early and vocal supporter of president-elect Donald Trump, leading some people to find the timing of the ban suspicious.
“I’m not surprised. If the Department of State could block oxygen to us, they would do it”, RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan was quoted saying overnight.
“We were blocked while livestreaming Obama’s final press-conference. Such things happen because (for ex.) some other news media livestreams carry the same shots and feed, and Facebook considers this a copyright violation,” RT said in a statement on Facebook.