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With the eyes of the world on Ukraine, Facebook temporarily allows violent posts like 'death to the Russian invaders'


'We still won't allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians'

Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The social media giant Meta will permit Facebook and Instagram users in certain nations to advocate violence toward Russian troops as it pertains to the invasion of Ukraine, according to internal emails, Reuters has reported.

Russia has been wreaking death and destruction in Ukraine since invading the sovereign nation last month.

"As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as 'death to the Russian invaders.' We still won't allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians," a Meta spokesperson noted in a statement, according to the outlet.

Reuters reported that emails to content moderators indicate that in nations including Russia, Ukraine, and Poland, the social media business is temporarily permitting some material that calls for the deaths of the presidents of Russia and Belarus.

According to the outlet, an email noted that calls for the demise of the leaders will be permitted unless those calls include additional targets or feature two elements denoting credibility like a location and method.

Citing an email, Reuters reported that the temporary policy shift regarding posts advocating violence against Russian troops pertains to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

"We are issuing a spirit-of-the-policy allowance to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the Hate Speech policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT prisoners of war, or (b) targeting Russians where it's clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defense, etc.)," Meta noted in an email to moderators, according to Reuters.

"We are doing this because we have observed that in this specific context, 'Russian soldiers' is being used as a proxy for the Russian military. The Hate Speech policy continues to prohibit attacks on Russians," the email noted.

Last week, Russia's internet censor declared it would block Facebook in the country.

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