Facebook lifts partial ban on Russian news outlet RT

Russian news organization RT is now breathing a sigh of relief after Facebook temporarily blocked the Kremlin-backed media outlet from posting links, videos and other content besides text days before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The news outlet, formerly known as Russia Today, said it was blocked from posting media content on the social media site for almost 24 hours.

RT was expecting Facebook to limit its posting privileges until Saturday, but the social media giant removed the restrictions Thursday.

The Menlo Park tech firm appeared to have temporarily blocked the site over copyright issues. In a Facebook post, the news outlet mentioned that it was blocked for live-streaming President Barack Obama’s final press conference.


Russian officials weren’t happy when they heard Facebook partially blocked the government-funded news organization. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova  called the ban on RT “unacceptable.”

“All the features for this page owner have now been restored. We are looking into the reasons behind the temporary block,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to multiple media outlets, including TechCrunch.

Amid concerns about fake news, Facebook has been trying to improve its relationship with journalists and news outlets. This month, the company launched a project to support journalism and news literacy and hired a former journalist to lead news media partnerships.

Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown on a camera viewfinder at the headquarters of the Russia Today television network, Moscow, Russia, June 11, 2013. (Yuri Kochetkov /Pool Photo via AP)


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