Facebook bans Russia state media from running ads, monetising

Facebook said that Russia would hit its services with restrictions after it refused authorities' order to stop using fact-checkers and content warning labels on its platforms.


Facebook on Friday restricted Russian state media’s ability to earn money on the social media platform as Moscow’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine reached the streets of Kyiv. 

“We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world,” Nathaniel Gleicher, the social media giant’s security policy head, said on Twitter.

He added that Facebook would “continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media.”

Facebook’s parent company Meta said earlier Friday that Russia would hit its services with restrictions after it refused authorities’ order to stop using fact-checkers and content warning labels on its platforms.

Social media networks have become one of the fronts in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, home to sometimes misleading information but also real-time monitoring of a quickly developing conflict that marks Europe’s biggest geopolitical crisis in decades.

ALSO READ: Ukrainian and Russian forces fight over capital Kyiv

“Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content posted on Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations,” Meta’s Nick Clegg said in a statement. “We refused.”

His statement came hours after Russia’s media regulator said it was limiting access to Facebook, accusing the US tech giant of censorship and violating the rights of Russian citizens.

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On Wednesday, Facebook also released a feature in Ukraine that allows people to lock their profiles for increased security, using a tool the company also deployed after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last year.

Gleicher said Facebook had set up a Special Operations Center to monitor the situation in Ukraine “in response to the unfolding military conflict.”

Early Saturday, Ukraine’s military said on its verified Facebook page that Russia “attacked one of the military units on Victory Avenue in Kyiv. The attack was repulsed,” without specifying where exactly the incident took place.

An AFP journalist said there were loud explosions heard in central Kyiv early on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s Defence Ministry said early Saturday that “two enemy targets were shot down” — identifying them as a Russian SU-25 helicopter and a military bomber — near the separatist zone in the east.

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