Tuesday, January 31

Elon Musk declines to block Russian propaganda from Starlink

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In a tweet Friday night, Elon Musk claimed foreign government officials had asked his satellite internet company Starlink “to block Russian news sources” following the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

“We will not do so unless at gunpoint,” Musk said in the tweet. “Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”

It’s unclear which governments Musk is referring to in the tweet, though he added it was not Ukraine. 

Amplifying propaganda: Russian news sources, such as RT, serve as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s global megaphone, misleading audiences and deflecting from the issues at hand. On Friday, Putin signed a censorship bill into law making it impossible for news organizations to accurately report the news in or from Russia.

Delivery to Ukraine: Musk sent a truckload of Starlink antennas — which can be used to connect to the company’s satellite-based internet service — to Ukraine this week, responding to a plea from the country’s vice prime minister amid fears that Ukrainians could lose internet access if Russia continues its attacks on communication infrastructure.

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