Russia has been doing some very interesting things and you’ve probably heard about a host of companies pulling out. What’s not being reported quite so much is in many instances these company exoduses are not a stand for Ukraine, it’s because they might be liable for criminal prosecution, including state seizures for allowing anything that contradicts the Russian narrative. A lot of them are being kicked to the curb by the state, and a few others might face sanctions abroad and in their home countries for continued trading.
Tik-Tok has halted all uploads in Russia although the question becomes can you just post elsewhere and it be seen in Russia or is Tik-Tok in a state of only showing them content from a month ago. This (officially) comes from the potential legal liabilities of posting non-state messaging. Or perhaps from Tik-Tok being a Chinese owned company and China being Russia’s only trading friend at the moment.
Netflix pulled out, Facebook was blocked or partially blocked by the state, Twitter’s restricted, protesters are facing 15 years in prison for protesting even online. Please tell me how you’re being oppressed by your country for being asked to do something with a net positive effect again?
Google’s YouTube is being targeted for spreading what the government calls fake news, and Google’s started pulling out of some services there. I wonder why?
App stores have reportedly been blocked, which would effectively prevent downloading any apps that could circumvent the official party line. I don’t see a lot of coverage on this but yikes.
Microsoft, Samsung, Apple, and many others have stopped selling in Russia. Possibly because they know what war crimes are, have seen documented evidence, and are covering their behinds legally. TL;DR don’t trade with war crime states for both PR and later legal reasons. Maybe it’s because they are taking a stand. I tend to believe corporate spinelessness and fear of looking bad first off.
But a lot of this banning and pulling out, it’s not for altruistic reasons, it’s because the state cracked down. I’m expecting we’ll find out Netflix was required to pull Red Dawn or something and that’s what the cessation of operations cause was.
Netflix was also used as a tool for state propaganda and forced to broadcast Putin’s state of the union instead of anything else. If I’m remembering correctly… that cessation of other streaming and forced broadcasting of state material was just something I heard and can’t source it.
Amazon appears to be taking a bold step and… they cancelled a Russian voice/text pack? What? They also evidently booted some Ukrainian sellers because they couldn’t ship so… great job not looking like the evil guys here, although I guess the Amazon line is they’re automatically deactivating so sellers aren’t penalized for shipping. Errr.