Facebook Reportedly Relaxes Hate Speech Rules To Let Some Users Call For Violence Against Russian Soldiers, Putin

Meta Platforms Inc FB would allow users of its social media platforms in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the country's invasion of Ukraine, according to a Reuters report.

What Happened: The Mark Zuckerberg-led company will let some Facebook and Instagram posts in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Reuters reported.

“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,” Reuters quoted a Meta spokesperson as saying.

The social media behemoth, however, will not allow “credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” as per the report.

Temporary policy changes regarding calls for violence against Russian soldiers will apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

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Why It Matters: Facebook’s internal correspondence indicates it was making the changes as they observed that the term “Russian soldiers” is being used as a proxy for the Russian military, Reuters noted.

The move comes just days after Russia banned Facebook, following Putin's signing a “fake news” law that makes it illegal to report any event that could discredit the Russian military. 

Price Action: On Thursday, Facebook shares closed 1.7% lower at $195.21 in the regular session and fell 0.2% in extended trading.

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Posted In: NewsSocial MediaPoliticsTechMediaGeneralAlexander LukashenkoHate SpeechMark ZuckerbergMetaRussia-Ukraine WarVladimir Putin