EU sanctions aimed at silencing disinformation from Kremlin-backed organisations such as Russia Today require Google to remove them from its search results, it has emerged.
Last week, the European Union outlawed the transmission of RT, removing the channel from satellites and the remaining cable and IPTV networks that hadn’t already decided to cease retransmission. However, it wasn’t clear as to how the order would affect internet companies.
Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Google-owned YouTube have all indicated they would block any posts from Russian state media accounts in Europe, such as RT and Sputnik.
A document uploaded by Google to the Lumen Database shows the order applies not just to the social media accounts of the two media organisations but also to any individual that shares the content themselves.
The document has not been made publicly available and only became known as part of a report by the Washington Post.
“Providers of internet search services must make sure that i) any link to the internet sites of RT and Sputnik and ii) any content of RT and Sputnik, including short textual descriptions, visual elements and links to the corresponding websites do not appear in the search results delivered to users located in the EU,” reads the entry that goes on to say the right to free speech cannot be used to circumvent the legislation.