Meta Platforms would temporarily enable users in select countries to advocate for violence against Russians and Russian military in response to the Ukraine incursion.
According to internal emails to content moderators, Facebook is also temporarily permitting postings calling for the killing of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine forced us to temporarily relax our regulations on political expression, including aggressive comments like “death to the Russian invaders.” We will not tolerate serious threats against Russian people “a Meta official warned.
A recent revision to the company’s guidelines on violence and incitement allows demands for the leaders’ murders unless they include additional targets or two markers of believability, such as location or technique.
According to one email, the interim policy changes apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
In a recent email to moderators, Meta announced a modification in its hate speech policy for Russian military and Russians.
“We are giving a spirit-of-the-policy permission to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be deleted under the Hate Speech policy,” the email added.
“In this case, “Russian soldiers” are being employed as a proxy for the Russian military. Agressions towards Russians are still prohibited “email said.
Last week, Russia announced it was blocking Facebook due to alleged limits on access to Russian media on the network. During its “special operation” in Ukraine, Moscow has targeted digital businesses, including Twitter.
As a result of the crisis, many major social media companies have announced additional content restrictions, including barring Russian state media RT and Sputnik throughout Europe.
According to emails obtained by The Intercept, Meta would allow praise of the right-wing Azov brigade, which is generally forbidden.
Mr. Osborne earlier stated that Meta was “for now, limiting appreciation of the Azov Regiment to protecting Ukraine or their duty as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”