Content media

Facebook Temporarily Allows Content Calling for Death to Russian Invaders, Putin

A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. Photo: Reuters
  • Meta allows Facebook users to share posts about the war in Ukraine calling for violence against Russian invaders and Putin.
  • Meta’s spokesperson says they “still will not allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.”
  • The Russian Embassy in the United States asks Washington to put an end to the “extremist activities” of Meta.

FB.O meta platforms will allow Facebook and Instagram users in certain countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers amid the invasion of Ukraine, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, as part of a temporary change to its hate speech policy. .

The social media company is also temporarily allowing certain posts calling for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators.

“Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we temporarily allowed forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules, such as violent speech such as ‘death to Russian invaders.’ credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

Calls for the death of leaders will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two credibility indicators, such as location or method, according to an email in a recent change to the rules of the company on violence and incitement.

Citing the Reuters article, the Russian Embassy in the United States demanded that Washington put an end to Meta’s “extremist activities”.

“Facebook and Instagram users have not given the owners of these platforms the right to determine the standards of truth and pit nations against each other,” the embassy said on Twitter in a message as well. shared by their office in India.

Temporary policy changes on calls for violence against Russian soldiers apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia , Slovakia and Ukraine, according to an email.

In the email recently sent to moderators, Meta highlighted a change in its hate speech policy regarding both Russian soldiers and Russians in the context of the invasion.

“We are issuing a Policy Spirit Allowance to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the Hate Speech Policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT POWs, or (b ) targeting Russians where it is clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g. content mentions invasion, self-defense, etc.),” he said in the post. ‘E-mail.

“We do this because we have observed that in this specific context, ‘Russian soldiers’ are being used as proxies for the Russian military. Hate speech policy continues to prohibit attacks on Russians,” the email reads. .

Last week, Russia said it was banning Facebook in the country in response to what it said were restrictions on access to Russian media on the platform. Moscow has cracked down on tech companies, including Twitter TWTR.N, which said it was restricted in the country, during its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special operation”.

Many major social media platforms announced new content restrictions around the conflict, including the blocking of Russian state media RT and Sputnik in the European Union, and demonstrated exclusions in some of their policies during the war. .

The emails also showed that Meta would allow praise from the right-wing Azov Battalion, which is normally prohibited, in a change first reported by The Intercept.

Meta’s spokesperson previously said the company “is making a small exception at this time for commendations of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of the defense of Ukraine, or in its role within the National Guard of Ukraine.” .