Facebook and Instagram allow posts calling for violence against Russians and Putin’s death
Metathe parent company of the social media platforms, will temporarily change its hate speech policy for posts regarding the war in Ukraine for the countries concerned and most neighboring European countries.
Messages calling for the death of Mr. Putin or the Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko will be allowed to change company rules on violence and incitement, according to a series of internal emails to its content moderators.
Such messages will not be allowed if they include two suggestions that the threat is credible – such as location and method – or other targets, an email said.
The emails said calls for violence against the Russians were acceptable while the message was clear about the invasion of Ukraine.
And calls for violence against Russian soldiers would be seen as a proxy for the Russian military – although it would not extend to prisoners of war.
Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Independent.
Temporary policy changes apply to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
Many major social media platforms announced new content restrictions around the conflict and made exceptions to policies during the war.
Meta allowed the Azov Right Battalion to be praised, which is normally forbidden.
Spokesman Joe Osborne said the company was “making a small exception at this time for praising the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of the defense of Ukraine, or in its role within the National Guard of Ukraine” .
Russian state media RT and Sputnik have been blocked in Europe and no longer appear on YouTube or Facebook.
Alphabet, parent company of YouTube and Google Play, said it would suspend all payment-based services in Russia and joined Twitter in suspending advertising.
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, but some have found ways to allow access in Russia through the Tor browser.
Social media companies have drawn the ire of the state communications agency Roskomnadzor for allowing the sharing of content that undermined the official Kremlin line on their platforms.
Roskomnadzor took action against free media in part to stem dissent among its citizens over the war.
Journalists face jail reporting anything other than the official line on what the Kremlin calls a “special operation” in Ukraine.
Additional Reuters reports
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