Facebook Gives Green Light for Violence against Russians on Platform
Tech giant faces fire for allowing calls for violence
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, informed its employees via an email that calls for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers would be permitted on its platforms.
As Reuters reported:
The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators.
A Meta spokesperson said this in a statement.
“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’”
“We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.
The email from Meta allowed calls for violence against both Russian soldiers and Russians, just as long as the context of the invasion of Ukraine was clear:
“We are issuing a spirit-of-the-policy 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
(b) targeting Russians where it’s clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defense, etc.),” it said in the email.”
The Russian embassy in the United States critised the Silicon Valley company in the wake of Reuters’ report.
“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,” said the Russian embassy in a tweeted statement.
☝️We demand that 🇺🇸 authorities stop the extremist activities of @Meta, take measures to bring the perpetrators to justice. 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. https://t.co/1RkrjRmEtA pic.twitter.com/sTacSm4nDt— Russian Embassy in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) March 11, 2022
Journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized Facebook, saying it should be up to Mark Zuckerberg and a small group of other tech executives to decide “when we can advocate violence against certain people and when we can’t.”
That's nice. Definitely grateful that we live in a society where Mark Zuckeberg and Google executives determine when we can advocate violence against certain people and when we can't. Seems healthy and democratic.🔪🔪 https://t.co/3QxaKuDqxB— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) March 11, 2022
Russia blocked access to Facebook and Twitter across the country in response to those platforms restricting Russian media outlets, including RT and Sputnik.
The Intercept reported in February that Facebook had rescinded its ban on discussion of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which had previously been banned under its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy.