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FB Limits Access to Russian State-controlled Media in Ukraine

In World
February 28, 2022

Meta (formerly Facebook) has blocked access to several Russian state-controlled accounts in Ukraine. The social network said it is also reviewing other governments’ requests to restrict access to these accounts in their countries.

Nick Clegg, vice president of global affairs at Meta, said in a tweet thread early on Monday that the company has been in contact with the Government of Ukraine.

“At their request, we have also restricted access to several accounts in Ukraine, including those belonging to some Russian state media organisations,” Clegg posted.

“We are also reviewing other government requests to restrict Russian state controlled media,” he added.

The Ukrainians have also suggested that Meta remove access to Facebook and Instagram in Russia.

“However, people in Russia are using FB and IG to protest and organise against the war and as a source of independent information,” he informed.

“The Russian government is already throttling our platform to prevent these activities. We believe turning off our services would silence important expression at a crucial time,” he noted.

Hit by partial restrictions, Meta (formerly Facebook) on last weekend prohibited Russian state media from running ads or monetising on its platform anywhere in the world.

Meta has established a special operations centre staffed by experts from across the company, including native Russian and Ukrainian speakers, who are monitoring the platform around the clock, allowing the company to respond to issues in real time.

“We’ve added several safety features in Ukraine, including the ability for people to lock their Facebook profile, removing the ability to view and search friends lists, and additional tools on Messenger,” the company informed.

Meta said it is also providing more transparency around state-controlled media outlets, prohibiting ads from Russian state media and demonetising their accounts.

Google-owned YouTube has also announced it is temporarily halting the ability of a number of Russian channels, including state-sponsored RT, to monetise their content on the platform.

Earlier, Russia also blocked Twitter to stifle the flow of information as its invasion of Ukraine escalates.