Who's repressing media? US, Russian embassies take war of words to China's Weibo
Published: Mar 17, 2022 10:11 PM Updated: Mar 17, 2022 11:05 PM
Sina Weibo Photo: VCG

Sina Weibo Photo: VCG

"The West's repression of Russian media has lasted for years. What do they have to say about freedom of speech and the freedom of access to information?" Russian Embassy in China asked on Thursday on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo as a response to the US Embassy in China's accusation of Russia's so-called repression of media.

"The US, Canada and the Europe Union have removed Russia Today (RT) from their broadcast network. Apple and Google have banned users from downloading apps of RT and Sputnik News Agency, and YouTube blocked channels of Russian media around the world," the Russian embassy pointed out in a post on Weibo on Thursday, forwarding a post of the US Embassy in China a day before.

The response came after the US embassy, in its post on Weibo, accused Russian state-controlled media of spreading disinformation about Russia-Ukraine conflict. The US embassy also claimed the Kremlin is "intensifying its crackdown on independent media" to prevent "the truth" from reaching the Russian public. 

"The West's suppression of Russian media did not just start now. It has lasted years. What do they have to say about freedom of speech and free access to information?" the Russian embassy asked. 

The issue has soon caught Weibo users' attention, triggering heated discussion.

Some netizens said that the US is in no position to accuse others of repressing media while its own media smears other countries - such as smearing China over the origin of the novel coronavirus - and its own social media platforms blocked voices that are not in US' interest.   

Against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, RT America, the Russian state-funded media outlet, has been shut, with more than 100 staffers laid off. Some US internet companies, such as Meta, the parent company of Facebook, have also blocked voices from Russian official accounts. 

Lee Camp, who had hosted a satire comedy show Redacted Night for eight years, was one of the staffers of RT America who had lost their jobs. 

"Not only did my show end because RT America was shut down, but all of the old Redacted Tonight videos - over 1,000 videos - were banned on YouTube. And they're not just banned in America. Apparently they're banned in almost all countries," Camp told the Global Times on Thursday in an exclusive interview. 

Camp agreed that, with a ban on Russian media, the US government would mislead the American public with one-sided information.  

"The US government, I think it's pretty clear, wants this war to go on as long as possible. They view it as good for them to keep the war going, to keep Russia dragged down in a long-term war to harm Russia's economy," Camp said.