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Facebook relaxes rules on violent speech targeting the Russian military

Facebook has relaxed the rules on violent speech targeting the Russian military. The social media company announced it will allow users to post material attacking Russian soldiers, who are fighting against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, without removing them.

Confronted with the threat of Ukraine and the Ukrainian invasion, the social site has decided to loosen its guidelines on content that is hateful. Posts that criticize the army and Russian leaders won’t be deleted, but only under certain conditions. “Because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we are making allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules on violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.” This was made clear on Thursday by Andy Stone, Meta’s head of communications on Thursday, therefore, messages that are hostile to the Russian leadership and military are no longer allowed to be deleted. However, he stated, “We continue to not allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.” The Reuters article, released just before the declaration of Meta was made, previously mentioned internal discussions about the subject among moderators of content. Based on the emails the news agency could review, social media is also allowing its users to make calls for the funeral of Russian President, Vladimir Putin, or Alexander Lukashenko the Belarusian leader. These messages are acceptable as long as they don’t refer to any other “targets” and do not provide “indicators of credibility” such as location or the method … According to Reuters, the new regulation is applicable in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine. The response of Moscow was quick in the coming. The country declared in the aftermath of the scandal that they were seeking legal actions against Meta for “calling for the murder” of Russians. It is reported that the Russian prosecutor’s office is seeking to categorize this Internet company in the category of an “extremist” organization, and consequently, to stop all of its activities within Russia. They also want the Russian telecoms regulator Roskomnadzor to stop access to Instagram within the country. This week Russia has already banned Facebook on its territory as a response to the decision of the Californian group to prohibit media that are close to the power in Europe including Channel RT or the website Sputnik. Russia, which is led by Vladimir Putin thus joins the extremely exclusive club of those who block the biggest social media platform worldwide together with China along with China and North Korea. A majority of American tech-savvy people have severed relations with Moscow following the time that the war in Ukraine began. Microsoft, as well as Apple, have suspended their business in Ukraine, and Netflix, Intel, and Airbnb have ceased operations in the country.

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