Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has temporarily disabled the repealed anti-violence rules, only for Ukrainian users and only if the injured party is represented by Vladimir Putin and Russian soldiers.
Thus, the use of expressions such as “death of the Russian invaders” is perfectly acceptable on Facebook and Instagram, as long as it appears in messages posted on the territory of Ukraine, by users caught in the war started by Russia.
However, Meta states that incitement to violence against the Russian civilian population is still not allowed, with moderating teams continuing to check the distributed posts to ensure that only the narrative of the messages does not degenerate in a direction that would not honor any of the parties involved. in conflict.
“In the context of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, we have made a temporary exception for those affected by the war, to allow unrestricted expression of violent feelings towards the invading armed forces,” a Meta spokesman told the BBC.
Predictably, the Russian authorities did not hesitate to denounce the “extremist activities” of the American company, which would thus “compete” with the systematic propaganda and misinformation campaigns aimed at the population of Ukraine and its surroundings.
With the exceptions announced by Meta, users in countries such as Russia and Poland can also ask on Facebook or Instagram for the deaths of Russian President Putin and Belarusian President Lukashenko.
Testing the line between guaranteeing the right to free speech and partisanship with the parties directly involved in the war, Facebook and Instagram administrators confirm that it is permissible to distribute messages that incite violence only as long as no exact targets are specified, such as location or methods. of that objective.
“We urge the US authorities to stop Meta’s extremist activities, to take action to bring the perpetrators to justice,” the Russian embassy in the United States wrote on Twitter.