Sputnik News Agency Considers Labelling of Its Staff Accounts on Twitter 'Witch Hunt'

© REUTERS / Brendan McDermidThe Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016.
The Twitter logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., September 28, 2016. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.03.2022
Western governments have moved to heavily censor Russian foreign-language media in connection with the conflict in Ukraine, shutting down websites, radio and television broadcasts, and blocking or otherwise limiting access to Sputnik and RT on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
Twitter's labeling of the accounts of Sputnik employees amounts to a "witch hunt," the news agency has said.
"[This is] another outrageous step on the part of the US social network, a witch hunt and a direct persecution of our journalists," the agency said in a statement.
Earlier, the US social media giant began to assign the accounts of Sputnik staff special markings to indicate that they work for state-owned media, supposedly "to provide more context and ensure transparency."

In its statement, Sputnik said it looked forward to similar markings appearing on the accounts of journalists from the BBC, DW and other Western state media.

The move by Twitter is the latest attack on Russian media by Western governments and internet giants.
Earlier, Sputnik's Instagram, Facebook and TikTok accounts were restricted across Europe, with Instagram justifying the decision citing "an order from the government, court or other authority." Microsoft removed the RT news app from its Windows store, deranked Sputnik and RT in Bing results, and removed Sputnik and RT content from MSN and Microsoft Start. Separately, Google banned the download of the app of RT's Russian-language service in Ukraine, while Facebook cracked down on a Ukraine-related "misinfomation" campaign.
On Tuesday, Google Europe moved to block YouTube channels "connected to RT and Sputnik" across the bloc, "effective immediately."
 Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov's interview with Sputnik correspondents - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.02.2022
Access to Instagram, Facebook & TikTok Accounts of Sputnik Restricted Across Europe
Sputnik's websites are also facing growing pressure, becoming unavailable without the use of a VPN service across multiple countries, including the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, and Moldova. Sputnik International, Sputnik German SNA, and others have also come under large-scale DDoS attack.
On Sunday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised to "ban in the EU the Kremlin's media machine," and announced that "the state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik as well as their subsidiaries will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin's war and to sow division in our union."
Bruno Le Maire, France's minister for economic and financial affairs, attends the Informal Meeting of Economics and Finance Ministers in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Sept. 11, 2020 - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.03.2022
EU Will Wage Total Economic & Financial War Against Russia, French Finance Minister Says
The censorship campaign is just one element of a broad package of measures taken by the US, the European Union and their allies against Russia over its military operation in Ukraine, with others including new banking, sectoral and personal sanctions, and the shutdown of airspace to Russian commercial aviation.
Bans, shutdowns and hack attacks notwithstanding, you can still follow Sputnik on Telegram to avoid missing the latest news.
Our Telegram channels:
Sputnik News US — https://t.me/sputniknewsus
Global News — https://t.me/sputniknewsint
Sputnik News India — https://t.me/sputniknewsindia
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