Facebook and Instagram will allow messages of violence against Russia and Putin

11 March 2022, 09:41

facebook putin
Facebook and Instagram allows messages of violence against Russia and Putin. Picture: Alamy

By Liam Gould

Meta - who owns both of the social media platforms - have changed their rules to allow some to call for violence against Russia within the context of the Ukraine invasion.

Meta-owned platforms have changed their rules on hate speech, which will allow some of their users to call for violence against Russia and president Vladimir Putin.

Facebook and Instagram will be the main platforms included in the temporary policy changes.

The company will also allow some to call for the deaths of Russian President Vladimir Putin, or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

But, Meta will remove the post if it includes both a method and location in a change to their rules on violence.

It is also clear that any threats of violence against Russian civilians will also be banned.

A Meta spokesperson said 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."

The Russian Embassy in the United States released a statement on their social media in response to the claims.

"We demand the US authorities stop the extremist activities of Meta [and] take measures to bring the perpetrators to justice."

The post adds: "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."

The countries that have been included on the list of changes are Ukraine and Russia, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

Meta recently sent an email to moderators outlining the changes to the policy.

"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, or (b) targeting Russians where it's clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defence, etc.)," it said in the email.

Russia had recently banned Facebook in the country, as well as a number of other social media platforms that they accused of promoting anti-Russian views.

A number of companies have already cut ties with Russia, including McDonald's that recently shut 850 of their restaurants in the country.

"McDonald’s has decided to temporarily close all our restaurants in Russia and pause all operations in the market. We understand the impact this will have on our Russian colleagues and partners", an official statement said.

"Our values mean we cannot ignore the needless human suffering unfolding in Ukraine."