The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is making all the headlines over the past few days. This topic is not supposed to be relevant to technology but war affects everything. In fact, technology is at the center of the crisis. This is because all technology is involved in the crisis itself and all information is disseminated with technology. Social media giants especially Facebook and Twitter are now very careful with the information they allow on their platforms. Since the start of one invasion, Facebook has been carrying out rigorous fact checks on information from four major Russian state media outlets. To this end, the Russian state asked Facebook to stop the “censorship”. However, Facebook did not listen
As a result, Russia is now limiting access to Facebook over the platform’s stance. Nick Clegg, Meta’s head of global affairs, said on Twitter
“Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labeling of content posted to Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations. We refused. As a result, they have announced they will be restricting the use of our services”.
This move is coming just a day after the commencement of the invasion of Ukraine.
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According to Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, Facebook is “violating the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens”.
Facebook will not censor ordinary Russians
However, Facebook says that
“Ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organize for action…we want them to continue to make their voices heard”.
While we know that Russia will restrict Facebook and its parent company Meta, the level of restriction is still not known. This restriction may affect all Meta’s applications including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.
So far, Russian state media outlets like RIA, state TV channel Zvezda, and pro-Kremlin news sites Lenta.Ru and Gazeta.Ru have restrictions on Facebook. The American social media giant is not backing down and will continue to fact-check their information.
Nevertheless, ordinary Russians do not need to worry, Facebook will not restrict their comments. Of course, there are guidelines on Facebook. If comments from ordinary Russians violate these guidelines, Facebook will censor them.
In this situation, what the world expects from Russian state media is what they are doing. These media outlets are painting a positive picture of Russian military advances in Ukraine. They even call the invasion a “special military operation” which Moscow has no choice but to undertake. However, the world knows that there is nothing positive about people losing their lives.
As of now, Meta has a “special operations center” that monitors content about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.