Tue. May 17th, 2022
Russia’s foreign minister says Western media is engaged in a war of ‘information terrorism’

  • Russia’s foreign minister said Western media is engaged in a war of “information terrorism.”
  • Sergei Lavrov praised Fox News for providing an “alternative point of view” and criticized CNN.
  • He also accused TikTok of brainwashing kids after the platform banned Russian state-sponsored media.

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Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview aired Friday that Western media is engaged in a war of “information terrorism,” praising Fox News for its coverage and accusing TikTok of brainwashing children. 

“Whenever something is happening, by the way of mass protests, mass demonstrations, which [the American media] don’t like, they immediately call it domestic terrorist,” Lavrov, who has served as foreign minister of Russia since 2004, said in the interview. “So it’s a war and it’s a war which involves the methods of information terrorism, there is no doubt about this.”

The broadcast aired on the Russian state-controlled channel Russia Today, also called RT, which has lost its license to broadcast in the UK and is laying off staff from its American offices after being dropped from DirectTV following the invasion of Ukraine. 

RT was required by the Justice Department to register as a foreign agent in the US in 2017 and has an extensive history of spreading disinformation and state propaganda through its channels. 

“If [you] take the United States, only Fox News is trying to present some alternative point of view,” Lavrov continued. “But when you see you watch other channels, and when you when you read social networks and internet platforms — when the acting president was blocked, as you know, this censorship continues in very big way,” he said, referencing former president Donald Trump’s bans from several social media platforms in January 2021.

Lavrov went on to denounce CNN, saying the network “prefers to avoid analytical materials” and uses slogan-like headlines to report news that villainizes Russia. He also accused TikTok of brainwashing children, referencing the platform’s recent ban of RT and Sputnik, both state-controlled Russian media sources. 

“When they concentrate on TikTok and other resources like this and other platforms, they target kids because TikTok is about young boys and girls,” Lavrov said. “I believe this is an attempt to brainwash them for the rest of their life and this is indecent and not fair.”

Meta, YouTube, and TikTok all blocked RT content from their platforms following the invasion of Ukraine. 

“The state-owned Russia Today and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will no longer be able to spread their lies to justify Putin’s war,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said of the ban when RT was removed from airwaves earlier this month. 

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