Access to Meta's services restricted in Russia

Access to Meta's services restricted in Russia
Credit: Belga

Access to Facebook and related social media is being restricted in Russia after the group’s heads rejected a demand from the Russian authorities that Meta stops fact-checking on its platforms.

Vice president of social media company Meta, Nick Clegg, shared a statement from the company which read that Russian authorities had ordered the company to stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content posted on Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organisations.

The company refused, resulting in Russia announcing that it will be restricting the use of Meta services.

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"Ordinary Russians are using Meta's apps to express themselves and organise for action. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger," he said on Twitter.

Facebook's response

Meta has since said it is taking additional steps in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetising on its platforms anywhere in the world, Head of security policy at Facebook, said on Twitter.

"We also continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media. These changes have already begun rolling out and will continue into the weekend."

The company announced on Thursday that it had set up a special operations centre, “staffed with experts and native speakers to respond in real-time to remove hate speech or content that incites violence or otherwise breaks our rules" as part of its efforts to fight the spread of misinformation.

The latest updates on the situation in Ukraine can be found here.

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