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26 Feb, 2022 06:13

Facebook places new penalties on Russian state media

The American social media company ramped up its sanctions on Russia’s news organizations
Facebook places new penalties on Russian state media

Facebook announced on Friday that it would ban Russian state media outlets from advertising or monetizing their content on the social media network in response to the conflict in Ukraine.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, revealed in a statement that the company would start prohibiting the media “from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world.”

“We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media. These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend,” he said.

Russia’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor, announced this week that access to Facebook would be restricted in the country after Moscow accused the social media network and its parent company Meta of breaching “fundamental human rights” and Russian law with its censorship of Russian media organizations.

The announcement was made after four Russian news organizations, including RIA Novosti, had their access to Facebook limited.

Roskomnadzor said Facebook had censored Russia media on 23 occasions since October 2020.

Facebook’s vice president of global affairs, Nick Clegg – who previously served as the UK’s deputy prime minister between 2010 and 2015 – lashed out at Moscow’s decision in a statement. He added that his company wants Russians to use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp to “make their voices heard” as they “organize for action.”

Conflict in Ukraine broke out this week after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced military action aimed at “demilitarizing” and “denazifying” the country. Moscow claimed military action was a necessary measure to protect the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics in the Donbass, which had requested Russian military assistance against “Ukrainian aggression.”

Kiev, however, accused Moscow of conducting an “unprovoked” attack on the country, and Russia has been publicly condemned and sanctioned by many Western powers, including the US, UK, EU, and NATO.