Entertainment

Spotify fully suspends services in Russia over country's censorship laws

The streaming giant said the legislation, which ‘criminalises certain types of news' put its employees and listeners at risk.

Spotify has made the “difficult decision” to fully suspend its services in Russia in response to its laws restricting free speech.

The streaming giant said the legislation, which “criminalised certain types of news” put its employees and listeners at risk.

Heavy censorship laws have been imposed in Russia which can result in prison sentences of up to 15 years for those spreading information contrary to the Government’s narrative on the war in Ukraine.

“Spotify has continued to believe that it’s critically important to try to keep our service operational in Russia to provide trusted, independent news and information in the region,” a Spotify spokesperson said.

“Unfortunately, recently enacted legislation further restricting access to information, eliminating free expression, and criminalising certain types of news puts the safety of Spotify’s employees and possibly even our listeners at risk.

“After carefully considering our options and the current circumstances, we have come to the difficult decision to fully suspend our service in Russia.”

Other streaming and social media sites have taken similar action in recent weeks, with Netflix and TikTok suspending most of their services in the country earlier this month.

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