Music streaming

Swedish music streaming giant Spotify suspends service in Russia

Swedish music streaming giant Spotify is suspending services in Russia after Moscow passed a new law earlier this month to clamp down on freedom of the press and speech.

Spotify said it had no choice but to exit the Russian market, citing the law which essentially bans independent journalism.

“Spotify has continued to believe that trying to keep our service operational in Russia is extremely important to providing reliable, independent news and information in the region,” a Spotify spokesperson told TechCrunch.

“Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation further restricting access to information, eliminating free speech and criminalizing certain types of information puts the safety of Spotify employees and possibly even our listeners at risk.”

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In early March, Russia’s parliament enacted the law that criminalizes sharing what the government considers “false information” about Moscow’s ongoing war in Ukraine.

In response, many news agencies, including The New York Times and CNN, withdrew their journalists from Russia or suspended their broadcasts in the country.

Tech platforms such as YouTube, Meta (Facebook and Instagram) and Twitter have all blocked RT and Sputnik accounts, with Apple and Google following suit in their respective app stores.

Meta has extended the ban on Russian state media RT and Sputnik to Facebook and Instagram globally to stop the flow of disinformation as Russian forces make deeper inroads into Ukraine.

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