Facebook will allow messages of support for violence against Russia for the Ukraine war

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The fight against hate speech on Facebook has not lasted long. In an unexpected policy change, Meta (parent company of Facebook and Instagram) will allow in some countries to publish posts in support of violence against Russia and its soldiersagainst the background of the invasion of Ukraine.

Posts that would previously be banned for promoting hate will now be allowed to post due to the new context. As explained Reutersinternal Facebook documents put as an example to ask for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin or of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The blocking of RT and Sputnik sets a serious precedent (of dubious legality) against freedom of expression

War changes the rules on Facebook

The war has brought increased tension on social media and Facebook is relying on freedom of expression to allow posts that were previously deemed inappropriate and should be removed.

It does seem that Facebook contemplates a limit for this type of publication. The publication of death threats will be allowed unless they contain other objectives or have two credibility indicators, such as location or a specific method. We are facing a change in its policy of use, where the limitations have been relaxed to cover the “risque” of many publications related to the war in Ukraine.

In response to Xataka, from Facebook they remember that they are taking multiple decisions and confirm this position:

“In light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, we made a temporary exception for those affected by the war, to express sentiments towards the invading armed forces as ‘death to the Russian invaders’. These are temporary measures designed to preserve the voice and the expression of people facing an invasion. As always, we are prohibiting calls for violence against Russians outside the narrow context of the current invasion.”

This change will not apply in Spain, since it is understood that it is not a country in close contact with the war. Among the countries where posts calling for violence against Russian soldiers will be allowed are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

As explained The InterceptMeta will allow for example praise the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, which is normally banned. “We are making a small exception to praise the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of the defense of Ukraine, or in its role as part of the National Guard of Ukraine,” they justify from Facebook.

In Xataka | How to Avoid Information Overdose in Wartime: Tips for Finding Trustworthy Sources

The fight against hate speech on Facebook has not lasted long. In an unexpected policy change, Meta (parent company of…

The fight against hate speech on Facebook has not lasted long. In an unexpected policy change, Meta (parent company of…

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