War in Ukraine: Facebook to allow calls for violence against Putin

File Photo In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. The Trump administration is accusing Facebook in a lawsuit of discriminating against U.S. workers in favor of foreigners with special visas to fill more than 2,600 high-paying jobs. The Justice Department announced the suit Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, alleging that the tech giant refused to recruit, consider or hire qualified and available U.S. workers for the positions that it reserved for temporary visa holders. Photo Courtesy: AP

(BBC): The owner of Facebook and Instagram will allow users in some countries to call for violence against Vladimir Putin and Russian soldiers.

Meta says it has temporarily made allowances for some violent speech, like “death to the Russian invaders,” that would usually break its rules.

However, it says it won’t permit calls for violence against Russian civilians.

In response, Russia called on the US to stop the social media giant’s “extremist activities”.

The announcement came after Reuters news agency said it had seen internal emails outlining the policy shift.

“In light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, we made a temporary exception for those affected by the war, to express violent sentiments toward invading armed forces,” a Meta spokesperson told the BBC.

Under the amended policy, users in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland will also be able to call for the deaths of Russia’s President Putin and Belarusian President Lukashenko.

The emails reportedly said calls for the leaders’ deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets, or included a location or methods.

Calls for violence against Russians are also allowed when the post is clearly references the invasion of Ukraine, the emails reportedly said.

“We demand that US authorities stop the extremist activities of Meta, take measures to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Russia’s embassy in the US tweeted.

“Users of Facebook & Instagram did not give the owners of these platforms the right to determine the criteria of truth and pit nations against each other,” it added.

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