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27 Feb, 2022 07:31

Facebook and Twitter respond to Russian operation in Ukraine

The companies are cutting Russian state-linked media from ad revenue
Facebook and Twitter respond to Russian operation in Ukraine

Facebook and Twitter said on Saturday they were barring Russian state-linked media from running ads or making money off of their platforms in response to Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

Nathaniel Gleicher, the head of policy security at Meta, Facebook’s parent company, said “Russian state media” were banned from “running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world.”

Twitter said it was “temporarily pausing advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.”

Google earlier said it was blocking Russian state-owned media from making money off ads on their websites, apps and YouTube, citing “extraordinary circumstances in Ukraine.”

“We’re actively monitoring new developments and will take further steps if necessary,” spokesman Michael Aciman added in a statement, quoted by a number of media outlets. The spokesman specifically mentioned RT, which is state-funded.

YouTube also announced that it had “restricted access to RT and a number of other channels in Ukraine,” as well as cut the amount of recommendations to these channels.

The moves by social media platforms came in response to the Russian military operation in Ukraine launched on Thursday. Moscow said it was defending the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics against Ukrainian forces. President Vladimir Putin also said he sought “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukraine, without elaborating.

Kiev said the attack was entirely unprovoked and appealed to the international community for help. The US, Britain, the EU member states and several other countries imposed a flurry of sanctions on Russia, hitting its banks and trade, among other things. A number of European nations closed their airspace to Russian passenger carriers.