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Ukraine considers TikTok ban over spread of propaganda
 03 Apr 2024
Ukraine may ban TikTok if the company continues to ignore the Russian propaganda on the platform, said deputy and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Freedom of Speech, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn, on Radio Liberty, IMI reports.

According to him, Kyiv needs no example from other countries to follow, because Ukraine already has experience in blocking social media. However, the deputy added, as of now the government sees no need to ban TikTok.

"Ukraine is a sovereign state, it can do anything without looking back at its partners. We have a social media ban practice, a notice from special services, a NSDC meeting, a presidential decree, the implementation, litigations, if any...

"The Center for Countering Disinformation at the NSDC has exposed a whole network of TikTok accounts engaged in Russian propaganda. I have not heard a response from TikTok. If TikTok fails to respond and the propaganda keeps growing, we may have this situation. So far, as I understand, the government feels no need to do this. Well, it's always better to try to come to an agreement first than to go take the toughest action right away," said Yurchyshyn.

As for Telegram, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn said that lawmakers are currently looking for ways to regulate this and other social media.

"We are already at the the legal framework stage. This is not just about Telegram. This applies to all social media. It follows the DSA framework. That is, the Digital Sector Act, which is in effect in the European Parliament. That is, we are on our way to a legal decision. If the special services are not satisfied with this dynamic, they can always do things their own way," said Yurchyshyn.

Earlier, Yaroslav Yurchyshyn has said that Ukraine may block Telegram if the app is confirmed to be leaking information to the Russian special services.

The Center for Combating Disinformation has released a list of TikTok channels spreading Russian disinformation.

On March 5, 2024, US lawmakers introduced a bill in Congress that would require China’s ByteDance to divest TikTok in order to avoid a ban of the video app in the U.S.

Multiple countries have limited TikTok on state devices due to concerns that China could be using the app to gather data or spread disinformation.

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