In the recent news, the streaming giant, Netflix has announced its plans not to stream any Russian state channels, which the streamer could be mandated to host under Russian law beginning in March. “Given the current situation, we have no plans to add these channels to our service,” offered a Netflix spokesperson in a statement.
Netflix Refuses to Run Russian State Channels on its Platform
Back in December, the country’s communications controller added Netflix to its “audiovisual services” division, requiring Netflix’s Russian service to concede with laws that involve broadcasters and Russian state channels with more than 100,000 daily users. These comprise Russia’s main free-to-air channels, among the state-own Channel One, and cable networks, including Spas, a channel run by Russia’s Orthodox Church.
Following the new law, selected to come into force on March 1, all such “audiovisual services” will be mandated to carry 20 major Russian state channels, many of which carry pro-Putin propaganda. It is unclear how Netflix plans to disregard the law and what impact it will have on its Russian service. Netflix has big goals for Russia, having greenlit its first-ever Russian original series, Anna K., a modern-day account of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel Anna Karenina, and with several local-language series and movies in the pipeline.
Major Tech Giants Are Taking Action Against Russian Propaganda
Netflix refused to comment when asked by THR if the war in Ukraine would affect their expansion strategies in Russia. Netflix’s defiance of Moscow comes as other tech giants such as YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook (and parent company Meta) are considering what to do with their functions in Russia in order to mitigate disinformation and propaganda.
Meta has paused ad monetization for Russian state channels and declared on Sunday evening it had taken down dozens of fake accounts spreading misinformation about Ukraine across its platforms. Twitter is marking all content from Russian government-owned media sites and has previously banned ads from Russian state channels and media outlets.
Source: The Verge