Meta now says you can NO longer threaten to kill Russia’s President Putin on Facebook and Instagram, reversing earlier policy after backlash
It appears Zukerberg’s Meta overplayed its hand last week after the social giant announced it would allow posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Facebook and Instagram. However, it didn’t take long before Meta reversed its earlier policy after the United Nations condemned the social giant for allowing hateful remarks and calls for violence.
On Sunday, Meta said that it is further narrowing its content moderation policy for Ukraine to prohibit calls for the death of a head of state, according to multiple reports, citing an internal company post. This morning, Meta further clarified that users cannot make posts calling for the assassination of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin or other heads of state.
Meta also said that a previously reported temporary easing of its hate speech policy only applies to allowing posts by users in Ukraine making threats to the Russian military and “only in the context of speech regarding the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.”
In an internal post on Sunday, Meta President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg wrote that the company is “now narrowing its focus to make explicitly clear in the guidance that it is never to be interpreted as condoning violence against Russians in general.”
“We also do not permit calls to assassinate a head of state,” Clegg wrote in the post, which was first reported by Bloomberg on Sunday.
The clarification comes days after Meta changed guidance for its hate speech policy in Russia, Ukraine, and Poland to allow for such death threats against Putin and his ally Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In a last week’s email recently sent to moderators, Meta highlighted a change in its hate speech policy pertaining both to Russian soldiers and to Russians in the context of the invasion.
“We are issuing a spirit-of-the-policy allowance to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the Hate Speech policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT prisoners of war, or (b) targeting Russians where it’s clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defense, etc.),” it said in the email.
“We are doing this because we have observed that in this specific context, ‘Russian soldiers’ are being used as a proxy for the Russian military. The Hate Speech policy continues to prohibit attacks on Russians,” the email reads.