RT received a notification from Facebook on Wednesday afternoon while President Obama was giving his final press conference. The message said the livestream being broadcast on Facebook by RT was the subject of a copyright complaint from Current Time TV, a Russian-language channel. Current Time is operated by Radio Free Europe, a US government-funded media organization.
As a result of the complaint, RT was told by Facebook that it was banned from posting anything other than text to Facebook until Saturday.
RT reported on the ban and its editor-in-chief, Margarita Simonyan, told one Russian outlet she believed the ban was politically motivated. “If the Department of State could block oxygen to us, they would do it,” she said.
RT, which is funded by the Russian government, featured prominently in the recent declassified US intelligence report about alleged Russian intervention into the election. The report called RT the Kremlin's "principal international propaganda outlet."
However, less than 24 hours after the ban was imposed, Facebook suddenly lifted it on Thursday.
A Facebook spokesperson said the company is "looking into the reasons behind the temporary block."
Part of the confusion is that Current Time denies it reached out to Facebook about the supposedly-infringing livestream.