(Big League Politics) – Does big tech truly care about the safety of their users? Facebook and Instagram are facing criticism after an explosive report by Reuters showed the two platforms are set to “temporarily” allow calls for violence against Russian soldiers and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. This news comes after President Vladimir Putin banned Facebook from his nation just days ago in retaliation to repeated platform censorship that targeted numerous Russian media outlets.
Meta spokesperson Andy Stone shared the company’s statement in an online post: “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.”
Thank you – sincerely – for this sober perspective, Ryan.
— Andy Stone (@andymstone) March 10, 2022
Reuters said that the social media company is also “temporarily” allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Yet Donald Trump is still banned. https://t.co/nmWwOjh4DT
— Josh Hammer (@josh_hammer) March 10, 2022
This is a gross violation of Facebook’s own personal rules regarding “hate speech,” according to CNET.
Reporting by Reuters said that “calls for the leaders’ deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method, one email said, in a recent change to the company’s rules on violence and incitement.” They also wrote that the new policy changes apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, according to an email.
“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.),” wrote Meta in a recent email sent to moderators.
“We are doing this because we have observed that in this specific context, ‘Russian soldiers’ is being used as a proxy for the Russian military. The Hate Speech policy continues to prohibit attacks on Russians,” the email stated.