Facebook, Instagram to allow death threats of Russians
Facebook and Instagram will temporarily allow death threats towards Russians on their platforms in some countries, according to a Thursday Reuters report.
“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 outlet reported.
“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-defense, etc.),” Meta reportedly stated in a statement shared with Reuters.
The extent of incitement and violent speech policy changes will reportedly allow users to post calls for leaders’ deaths in regards to Russian soldiers, and Russians within the context of the invasion of Ukraine. Posts will allegedly not be allowed, however, if a credible threat is made including an intended location and method. Countries reportedly included in the temporary policy change are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
Meta’s policy changes come after Facebook blocked four Russian media outlets: Zvezda TV channel, RIA Novosti news agency, Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru on Feb 24. Russia responded by announcing they would limit access to Facebook in response to the tech giant. Other major Western technology companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Oracle have moved to limit or suspend operations in Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine.
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