Spotify will stop access to its streaming services in Russia due to the country’s significant new restrictions on freedom of expression.
In early March, the Russian parliament promulgate new laws that sharing what the government considers “misinformation” about Russia’s activities in Ukraine would be criminalized. The new restrictions also punish any speech that undermines the military, including describing the war in Ukraine with the word “war”.
Western news outlets including CNN, ABC and BBC pull broadcasts and their activities In Russia, according to the law, can be sentenced to 15 years in prison. While Spotify is primarily a music streaming platform, the company is increasingly investing in podcasts that combine politics and current events – a direction that has been entangled number of controversies.
A Spotify spokesperson told TechCrunch: “Spotify continues to believe that it is extremely important to strive to keep our service operating in Russia to provide reliable, independent news and information in the region. area. “Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation that further restricts access to information, eliminates freedom of expression, and criminalizes certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify employees and possibly even All of our listeners are at risk.”
After considering various avenues, Spotify has chosen to “completely suspend” its service in Russia, a process that will be completed in early April once the company completes the logistics related to the move. this transfer. Spotify previously suspended paid subscription in Russia, although a free version of the app is still available.
As most of the world looks on in horror, the Kremlin continues to tighten its grip on the flow of information, misaligning its actions over the last month as an attempt at liberation rather than a bloody war. to take the lives of civilians. That push and its accompanying legal crackdown pose a serious risk to anyone in the country who shares the same views on the invasion as opposed to the Russian government.