On Thursday (February 24), Russia launched a full-scale invasion in Ukraine, months after deploying over 1 lakh security forces at the border. Following this, social media giants initiated action against Russian State-owned media.
In a tweet on Saturday (February 26), Twitter informed, “We’re temporarily pausing advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.” It had also paused certain tweet recommendations for people in war-torn Ukraine and Russia to prevent the dissemination of abusive content.
The micro-blogging site had also restricted the use of its services for ‘some people in Russia’ to ensure that the users are safe. “Our top priority is keeping people on Twitter safe. We’re actively monitoring for risks associated with the conflict in Ukraine, including identifying and disrupting attempts to amplify false and misleading information,” it emphasised.
Facebook stops Russia from monetising State-owned news content
Head of Security Policy at Meta, Nathaniel Gleicher, announced on Saturday (February 26) that Facebook will stop Russia’s State-controlled media from running ads or monetising their content.
“We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world. We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media. These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend,” he tweeted.
“We are closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and will keep sharing steps we’re taking to protect people on our platform,” he further added.
YouTube stops monetisation of Russia Today and other State-owned media outlets
On Saturday (February 26), Youtube announced that it will stop Russian State-owned media channels from monetising their content on the video streaming platform. The popular news outlet, Russia Today (RT), has thus been barred from making money through advertisements.
The decision came in the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed by the European Union. Youtube has referred to the ongoing conflict as ‘extraordinary circumstances’ and reiterated that it will pause the monetisation capabilities of Russian State-owned media outlets.
At the same time, channels such as RT have been banned in Ukraine, following a request by their government. Spokesperson Farshad Sadloo said that Russian government propaganda will also feature less in recommendations.
We intend to help Russians and the world to know the truth. I’ve contacted @YouTube to block the propagandist Russian channels — such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti. If they are afraid of speaking the truth, so we should stop this flow of poisonous lies.— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 26, 2022
“We intend to help Russians and the world to know the truth. I’ve contacted YouTube to block the propagandist Russian channels — such as Russia 24, TASS, RIA Novosti. If they are afraid of speaking the truth, so we should stop this flow of poisonous lies,” tweeted Ukranian Minister (Digital Transformation).
Earlier, users and lawmakers called on the social media giant to stop the Russian government from peddling misinformation and profiteering from Youtube. Reportedly, the Russian government made $7 million-$32 million from 26 Youtube channels between 2016 and December 2018.
Twitter refused to remove accounts of Islamist group Taliban
In August last year, Facebook had banned the Taliban and all content supporting it since it is considered a terrorist organisation under US Law. WhatsApp, a part of Facebook Inc, had also shut down a complaints helpline set up by the Taliban after it took control over Afghanistan. Similarly, video sharing platform YouTube had also said that it would ban accounts operated by the Taliban.
However, Twitter had refused to follow other social media platforms such as Facebook, and YouTube in prohibiting the Islamist group from using its platform. It had refused to suspend the accounts of the leaders associated with the Taliban. “Twitter’s top priority is keeping people safe, and we remain vigilant,” the social media giant had claimed.