Facebook Will Temporarily Allow Posts Calling For Violence Against Russian, Putin

Social media platforms Instagram and Facebook will now allow for posts calling for violence against Russian soldiers, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Reuters reported that Meta Platforms has allowed a temporary modification to its hate speech policy.

The report indicates “users in some countries” will be allowed “to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion.”

Information based upon internal emails that were obtained from the news source.

One email from a Meta spokesperson states: “As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.”

Some posts calling for Putin’s death or that of the Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko are temporarily allowed.

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Facebook: Violence Calls Against Russia are Okay

Many were shocked by the idea that social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook could choose which threats to violence or calls for death they would accept.

The idea almost seems like something you’d see in the Babylon Bee.

This is to be very clear: only certain countries can make these posts. Fox News lists these countries as Latvia (Lithuania, Estonia), Poland, Slovakia Hungary, Romania and Ukraine.

Tablet Magazine’s Noam Blum was a bit dismayed over the idea that some hate speech is acceptable on social media platforms.

Nation columnist Jeet Heer tweeted the tough but fair response, “If you’re willing to adjust your principles in a crisis, they weren’t really principles.” 

“Yet Donald Trump is still banned,” lamentedJosh Hammer is the opinion editor at Newsweek.

Half-jokingly, others thought the move was a cover for Democrats at the next election cycle.

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Temporary Violence

Facebook’s ‘Violence and Incitement’ policy explains why calls for violence are typically unacceptable on their platform.

“We remove content, disable accounts and work with law enforcement when we believe there is a genuine risk of physical harm or direct threats to public safety,” the policy reads.

But not at this time and in these specific locations.

Meta has updated its statement and outlined their policy change.

“In light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, we made a temporary exception for those affected by war, to express violent sentiments toward invading armed forces such as ‘death to the Russian invaders,’” they said.

“These are temporary measures designed to preserve voice and expression for people who are facing invasion,” a Meta spokesman added.

“As always, we are prohibiting calls for violence against Russians outside of the narrow context of the current invasion.”

Russia wasn’t pleased with the move by Meta. On Friday they opened up an investigation into the company and declared them an “extremist organization.”

The Russian state prosecutor’s office responded, “Such actions of the company’s management not only form an idea that terrorist activity is permissible, but are aimed at inciting hatred and enmity towards the citizens of the Russian Federation.”