According to internal documents acquired by Reuters on Thursday, Meta Platforms (FB.O) would temporarily enable users of Facebook and Instagram in some areas to advocate for violence against Russians and the Russian military in the context of the Ukraine incursion.
According to internal emails to its content moderators, the social media business is also temporarily permitting some messages calling for the assassination of Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
“As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we have temporarily permitted types of political expression that would ordinarily be prohibited under our guidelines, such as aggressive rhetoric such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We will continue to reject serious threats of violence against Russian people, “A representative for Meta stated in a statement.
Calls for the leaders’ assassination will be permitted unless they include more targets or provide two signs of believability, such as the location or method, according to one email, referring to a recent revision to the company’s guidelines on violence and incitement.
Russia’s embassy in the United States, citing the Reuters report, asked that Washington put an end to Meta’s “extremist actions.”
“Users of Facebook and Instagram did not grant the proprietors of these platforms the authority to define the parameters of reality and set nations against one another,” the embassy stated on Twitter in a message posted by their India office.
According to one email, the interim policy adjustments on threats of violence against the Russian military apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
Meta just released an email to moderators informing them of a revision to its hate speech policy, which applies to both Russian forces and Russians in the context of the invasion.
“We are issuing a spirit-of-the-policy exception to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be prohibited under the Hate Speech policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers EXCEPT for prisoners of war; or (b) targeting Russians where the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defense, etc.),” the email stated.
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“We are doing so because we have seen that ‘Russian troops’ are being used as a euphemism for the Russian military in this context. The policy against Hate Speech continues to restrict assaults on Russians, “As indicated in the email.
Last week, Russia said that it was blocking Facebook in the nation in reaction to platform-wide limitations on access to Russian media.
During its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow refers to as a “special operation,” Moscow has tightened down on technology businesses, including Twitter (TWTR.N), which has stated that it is limited in the nation.
Numerous major social media sites have declared additional limitations on information related to the conflict, including the barring of Russian state media RT and Sputnik in the European Union. They have exhibited exceptions to some of its standards throughout the battle.
Meta would also allow admiration for the right-wing Azov battalion, which is typically forbidden, according to emails obtained by The Intercept.
Previously, a Meta spokeswoman stated that the firm was “creating a small exemption for the time being” for the praise of the Azov Regiment “exclusively in the context of protecting Ukraine or in their position as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”