Russia Restricts Facebook as Company Stops Misinformation


Russia has limited access to Facebook and other Meta apps, following a complaint the company is censoring misinformation from some of the country’s media outlets.

Amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, POLITICO reported Russian-backed news agencies have been accusing Ukraine’s government of genocide.

The outlets have also shared speeches and remarks from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is accused of rewriting history in his remarks and is the clear aggressor in his war against Kyiv and its government.

After Facebook began censoring some posts, and fact-checking others, Russia’s media regularity agency lashed out at the California-based company.

Insider reported Russia’s government issued a release noting that it would limit its citizens’ access to Facebook by slowing down traffic.

The release stated:

On February 24, the Facebook social network (Meta Platforms, Inc.) restricted the official accounts of four Russian media outlets: the Zvezda TV channel, the RIA Novosti news agency, and the Lenta.ru and Gazeta.ru Internet sites.

…in accordance with the law, takes measures to partially restrict access in the form of slowing down traffic.

Nick Clegg, the president for global affairs at Meta Platforms, issued a statement about the issue on Twitter Friday afternoon.

“Ordinary Russians are using @Meta’s apps to express themselves and organize for action. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.”

He issued the following statement:

Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content posted on Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations. We refused. As a result, they have announced they will be restricting the use of our services.

Ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organize for action. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

Putin’s forces continued their assault on Ukraine Friday, and there are reports Russian forces intend to encircle Kyiv this weekend.

It is not clear how many Ukrainians have died since the war began on Thursday, although deaths have been confirmed.

CNN, which noted it could not independently verify the claims, reported the Ukrainian Defense Ministry has “inflicted some 800 casualties on Russian forces since the invasion began.”

Ukraine’s government further claims it has destroyed 30 Russian tanks, and 13 airlines and helicopters.

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