×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Facebook Restores Kremlin-Funded RT Posting Privileges After Temporary Block

UPDATED, 11:40 a.m. ET: Facebook on Thursday said the account of RT, Russia’s state-funded broadcaster, is now able to share articles, videos and other content, after the social-media site suspended its access a day earlier.

“All the features for this page owner have now been restored. We are looking into the reasons behind the temporary block,” a Facebook rep said in a statement.

Earlier, RT said it had been banned from posting anything on Facebook except text messages until until Saturday, Jan. 21, at 10:55 pm Moscow time (2:55 pm ET) — after Donald Trump has been sworn in as the 45th president of the U.S. on Friday.

According to RT (formerly known as Russia Today), Facebook instituted the block after the news org was accused of illegally live-streaming President Obama’s final press conference Wednesday. The RT News Facebook page has 4.1 million followers.

“Facebook has restored RT’s ability to post content to its page on the social network, following an as-yet unexplained blackout that lasted for some 20 hours,” RT said Thursday.

According to an earlier article citing RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan, RT was blocked from posting to Facebook following a complaint from Current Time TV, a Russian-language channel that is part of the U.S. State Dept.-funded Radio Liberty. “I’m not surprised. If the Department of State could block oxygen to us, they would do it,” Simonyan told Russian government news agency RIA Novosti.

Later Thursday, however, RT said that Current Time had denied issuing such a takedown request. RT said it was streaming the Obama broadcast from the Associated Press’ AP Direct feed, and that it had rights to the AP video as a subscribing client.

In addition, on Thursday RT claimed that Dataminr, the news-alerting service built on top of Twitter feeds, terminated its contract with RT effective Dec. 31, 2016, without providing a reason. The Russian network speculated Dataminr cut it off after the Wall Street Journal reported last year that Twitter was blocking U.S. intelligence services from using Dataminr while still working with RT.

Separately, on Jan. 12, C-SPAN’s live internet stream was replaced for about 10 minutes with RT’s feed. On Thursday, C-SPAN said the disruption was caused by “an internal routing error,” and that its systems weren’t hacked, as initially suspected.

“C-SPAN.org was not hacked,” the news channel said. “We have determined that during testing for inaugural coverage, RT’s signal was mistakenly routed onto the primary encoder feeding C-SPAN1’s signal to the internet, rather than to an unused backup.”

In recent weeks, reports have emerged that U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia launched a deliberate attempt to help Trump get elected, including hacking the Democratic National Committee’s email servers and leaking them publicly via WikiLeaks.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Verizon Stream TV

    Stream TV Review: Verizon’s New Streaming Device Is One Odd Duck

    Verizon has an answer to Roku, but it’s not talking much about it: The mobile carrier quietly released a new streaming device this week that promises to bring services like HBO, Hulu and YouTube to your TV. Dubbed Stream TV, the device is a solid streamer based on Google’s Android TV platform, albeit with a [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV Full Channel

    Hulu Hiking Price of Live TV Service 22%, to $55 per Month

    Hulu is implementing its second price increase in less than a year for its Hulu With Live TV product — with the base package of 60-plus live channels increasing 22%, to $54.99 per month. The price hike on the monthly base price of Hulu With Live TV will go into effect Dec. 18 for all [...]

  • Hulu With Live TV

    Hulu Live TV Tops Sling TV as No. 1 Streaming Pay-TV Service, Analysts Estimate

    Hulu With Live TV has edged out Dish Network’s Sling TV to take the crown as the biggest virtual pay-television service in the U.S., according to new analyst estimates. They were among the only winners amid the cord-cutting carnage that slashed through the sector in the third quarter. As of the end of the third [...]

  • Mubi India

    Mubi Launches Two VoD Channels in India

    Film specialist streaming platform Mubi launched on Friday in India with two channels, Mubi India and Mubi World. The channels are available together for an introductory offer of INR 199 ($2.75) for three months. Thereafter the channels will cost INR 499 ($7) a month or INR 4788 ($66.75) annually. For Mubi India, a channel dedicated [...]

  • U.K. Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to

    U.K.-Based Producer Barcroft Studios Sold to Future in $30 Million Deal

    Barcroft Studios has been bought by Future in a £23.5 million ($30.1 million) deal. The U.K.-based production outfit specializes in factual fare for channels and platforms, and its own branded channels on the likes of YouTube. Future is a U.K.-listed print and online publishing and events business. Sam Barcroft will stay on as CEO at [...]

  • Tye Sheridan

    Tye Sheridan Starring in Survival Thriller 'Wireless' From Steven Soderbergh for Quibi

    Quibi has ordered another show with notable Hollywood talent attached: scripted series “Wireless” starring Tye Sheridan with Steven Soderbergh on board as executive producer. In the made-for-mobile-screens thriller, a smartphone has a central role. Sheridan (“Ready Player One,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”) plays a self-obsessed college student who is stranded in the Colorado mountains after he crashes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content