‘Death To Russian Invaders’: Meta Alters Its Policy For Posts Related To Russia-Ukraine Crisis, According To Reports

by Swarajya Staff - Mar 11, 2022 09:22 PM +05:30 IST
‘Death To Russian Invaders’: Meta Alters Its Policy For Posts Related To Russia-Ukraine Crisis, According To ReportsFacebook/Meta
Snapshot
  • Reports suggest that the company will not flag or take down 'death calls' to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

According to this report, internal emails of tech behemoth Meta have revealed that amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the social media company will temporarily allow political expression such as ‘death to the Russian invaders’ which would normally violate its rules for violent and hate speech on its platforms, Facebook and Instagram. However, “we still won't allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians," said the Meta spokesperson.

As reported by Reuters, which accessed Meta’s internal emails to its content moderators, the company will not flag or take down death calls to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko. Such posts, though, will be allowed only in the absence of any “credibility” of threats made. The indicators of such “credible threats” include things like ‘location’ or ‘method’ of carrying out such attacks. Also, if the calls encompass death wishes to any “targets” other than these leaders, they will not be allowed.

The Russian embassy in the US demanded in a tweet that, “US authorities stop the extremist activities of Meta, take measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.” The tweet further said, “users of Facebook & Instagram did not give the owners of these platforms the right to determine the criteria of truth and pit nations against each other.”

Similar emails sent to the moderators spoke of other changes in the hate speech policy. The company issued a “spirit-of-the-policy allowance” for Tier 1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the Hate Speech policy in two cases, “targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT prisoners of war, and targeting Russians where it's clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defence, etc).” The email, however, claimed that “the Hate Speech policy continues to prohibit attacks on Russians.”

In another strange revelation, Meta has allowed the hailing and praising of otherwise prohibited Azov battalion in the wake of them “defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard,” said Meta spokesperson.

Russia, following its military operations in Ukraine, has banned and restricted several social media platforms in the country including Facebook and Twitter.

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