Ukraine War: Russia to call Meta an ‘extremist organization’ for authorizing posts calling for Putin’s death | Scientific and technical news
Russia is set to brand social media giant Meta an ‘extremist organisation’ after the company said it would temporarily allow people to post calls for Vladimir Putin’s death.
The country’s attorney general has also asked communications regulator Roskomnadzor to restrict access to Instagram, following its blocks against Facebook and Twitter Last week.
This is the latest crackdown on access to foreign media in Russia as part of the invasion of Ukrainewhich the Russian government describes as a special military operation.
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Why are the Russian authorities acting against Meta?
According to the attorney general, there are calls on Instagram for Russians to participate in “riots accompanied by violence” against their government’s actions in Ukraine.
Meta would have sent emails to moderators explaining that the company “tolerates forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules”.
Incitement to violence against Russian civilians will continue to be banned – and posts calling for the president’s death will be removed if they contain other targets or address a location or method.
Rules were also relaxed regarding posts about Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko after the invasion.
The temporary policy only applies to users from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine , according to the Reuters news agency.
Why did Meta change its policy?
An email seen by Reuters told moderators: “We are issuing a policy-minded allowance to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the hate speech policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT prisoners of war, or (b) targeting Russians where the context is clearly Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g. content mentions invasion, self-defense, etc. )”
The post went on to explain that the rules were being changed because “Russian soldiers” were being used as army proxies in this invasion.
• Putin’s forces edge closer to Kiev – as the mayor says, men and women who fled the capital are coming back to fight
• UK sanctions 386 Russian politicians who supported Putin’s invasion
•Boris Johnson told Sky News it was ‘deeply upsetting’ to reject calls for a no-fly zone over Ukraine
• The UN Security Council meet today to discuss Russia’s claims that the US and Ukraine are developing biological weapons – despite strong denials from both countries
• Britons will be urged to welcome Ukrainian refugees into their homes
Meta said: “In light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, we have made a temporary exception for war-affected people to express sentiments towards invading armed forces such as ‘death to Russian invaders’.
“These are temporary measures designed to preserve the voice and expression of those facing the invasion. As always, we prohibit calls for violence against Russians outside of the narrow context of the current invasion.”
Russia tightens access on social networks
Last week, Russia said it was banning Facebook after the social network began restricting access to some state media.
Social networks including Facebook and Twitter blocked RT and Sputnik in Europe.
On Thursday, the two sites removed posts from the Russian Embassy in the UK about the bombing of a children’s hospital in Mariupol because they broke rules against denying violent events.
According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, three people – including a child – were killed in Wednesday’s airstrike, which also hit a maternity hospital.
One of the posts from the Russian Embassy shared images with a red tag calling them ‘fake’ – and went on to claim the maternity ward was not operational and was being used by Ukrainian soldiers at the time .
Twitter responded to Russia’s blockages by launching a privacy-protected version of its site – known as the “onion service” – accessible via the dark web.