Musk’s Starlink will only block Russian media ‘at gunpoint’
The billionaire refused to say which countries had ordered the censoring of Russian media
Billionaire Elon Musk vowed on Friday that his SpaceX Starlink internet service would only block Russian news outlets “at gunpoint” after he was allegedly ordered by unnamed governments to censor the country’s media sources.
Musk claimed in a Twitter post that Starlink had “been told by some governments (not Ukraine) to block Russian news sources.”
“We will not do so unless at gunpoint,” he pledged. “Sorry to be a free speech absolutist.”
After one person criticized Musk and accused Russian media outlets of being “propaganda,” the billionaire responded, “All news sources are partially propaganda, some more than others.”
Last week, Musk announced that his Starlink satellite internet program was now active in Ukraine after Kiev’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov begged the SpaceX CEO for assistance in its fight against Russia.
“While you try to colonize Mars – Russia [is trying] to occupy Ukraine! While your rockets successfully land from space – Russian rockets attack Ukrainian civil people! We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand,” Fedorov said in an open letter to Musk at the time.
Musk was later thanked by the Ukrainian government for his support.
The EU banned Russian media outlets, including RT and Sputnik, this week – pulling RT TV off air and ordering technology companies to block access to RT’s website and social media pages, accusing the outlet of spreading “harmful disinformation.” RT’s deputy editor-in-chief Anna Belkina condemned the decision and said critics of the outlet had not “pointed to a single example, a single grain of evidence that what RT has reported over these days, and continues to report, is not true.”
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, TikTok, Reddit, and other tech companies all complied with the EU’s censorship order.