Facebook Delivers Massive Blow to Russian Media as Invasion Rages On in Ukraine
In the social media war accompanying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Facebook has fired a volley at Russia’s state-run media, which is following President Vladimir Putin’s script in declaring the conflict one of liberation.
“Kyiv, as a city where civilians live, hasn’t been bombed by anyone. There hasn’t been any terror there or instructions to cause such terror,” Russian Channel One pundit Artyom Sheinin said on Friday, according to The Guardian.
Facebook banned ads from Russian state media and is putting labels on state-run media posts, according to Nathaniel Gleicher, head of security policy at Meta, Facebook’s parent company.
“We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world. We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media. These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend,” Gleicher said.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and will keep sharing steps we’re taking to protect people on our platform.”
2/ We are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and will keep sharing steps we’re taking to protect people on our platform. https://t.co/mTatqghCzQ
— Nathaniel Gleicher (@ngleicher) February 26, 2022
Russia responded by blocking access to Twitter and Facebook, according to The Verge.
Facebook also suspended the accounts of four state-run Russian media organizations, the outlet reported. Russia called the action a violation of “the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens.”
Twitter has been filled with uncensored commentary and video showing the destruction caused by Russian forces as they hammer their way through Ukraine.
Although Russians with VPNs could connect to Twitter as of Saturday, direct access was blocked.
Twitter also announced it is halting all advertising in Russia and Ukraine, Fox Business reported.
“We’re temporarily pausing advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it,” Twitter said.
The social media platform had earlier suspended multiple accounts that were offering on-the-ground reporting and images from Ukraine, triggering fears that Twitter would block citizens from sharing what was taking place, according to The Verge.
Twitter spokeswoman Elizabeth Busby said the affected accounts were suspended in error.
“We’ve been proactively monitoring for emerging narratives that are violative of our policies, and, in this instance, we took enforcement action on a number of accounts in error,” Busby said.
“We’re expeditiously reviewing these actions and have already proactively reinstated access to a number of affected accounts. The claims that the errors were a coordinated bot campaign or the result of mass reporting is inaccurate.”
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