A number of accounts in Ukraine have been disabled by Facebook, some of which are linked to Russian state-backed media sites. It’s also looking at demands from other governments to limit access to these accounts in other countries.
“We’ve been in touch with the Ukrainian government, and at their request, we’ve also banned access to certain accounts in Ukraine, including those belonging to various Russian state media companies,” said Nick Clegg, Meta’s vice president of global relations, in a Twitter thread. “We’re also looking at other demands from the Russian government to ban state-controlled media.”
Clegg also noted some Ukrainians’ calls for an outright ban on Facebook and Instagram in Russia, but said that doing so would “suppress valuable voice at a critical moment.” After Facebook refused to stop fact-checking and identifying Russian state-backed media sites, Russia temporarily blocked the social media website. In a blog post, Meta-owned Facebook highlights the steps it’s doing to address user safety, misinformation, and state-controlled media, as well as the special operations center it’s set up to respond to crises connected to the invasion of Ukraine.
Clegg and Facebook did not name the accounts that were blocked in Ukraine, nor did they say which nations requested restrictions on Russian state-controlled media. The Verge reached out to Facebook for comment but did not receive a response right away.
On Saturday, Facebook announced that Russian state media will no longer be able to advertise or earn money on the network. YouTube has also demonetized and blocked access to accounts connected to Russian state-run media in Ukraine. The European Union has also taken efforts to limit the influence of Russian state-run media, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announcing a ban on Russian state-run media networks such as RT and Sputnik in the EU.