Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta won’t let Ukrainians call for Russian president Putin’s assassination on their platforms anymore. The company has revised its policy to prohibit calls for the death of a head of state. However, users can still wish Russian military and political leaders a never-ending tour of the netherworld.
As of last week, Facebook allowed posts calling for the assassination of Vladimir Putin. Now, Meta global affairs President Nick Clegg has posted on the company’s platform, narrowing the guidelines.
Facebook allows calls for violence against Russian leaders
Reuters recently reported that Meta has narrowed down its violent speech policy. So people in Ukraine can call for violence against the Russian invasion and those behind it. Until last week, Ukrainians could also call for the assassination of the Russian president, which isn’t the case anymore.
According to Meta’s internal post seen by Reuters, the platform tries to play it safe while not censoring Ukraine. These are unchartered waters for Meta because the situation in Ukraine demands that people talk about it. However, when Ukrainians tell their side of the story, Russia has to be at the receiving end of this flak.
So if Meta allows Ukraine unrestricted violent speech, it turns ugly for Russia, and if it curbs the speech in Ukraine, it is practically doing Russia’s job for it. In the current scenario, Meta has allowed Ukrainians to express their anguish but with some restraint.
Here’s an excerpt from Nick Clegg’s post on Meta’s internal platform, posted by Reuters
We also do not permit calls to assassinate a head of state…So, in order to remove any ambiguity about our stance, we are further narrowing our guidance to make explicit that we are not allowing calls for the death of a head of state on our platforms
Clegg further clarified the platform’s stance and explained that “Meta stands against Russophobia. We have no tolerance for calls for genocide, ethnic cleansing, or any kind of discrimination, harassment, or violence towards Russians on our platform.”
China and COVID
The heading may look out of place in this article, but there’s a similar thing brewing against Russians as against the Chinese. At the beginning of the pandemic, Asians worldwide suffered harassment and bullying.
Now with the Russo-Ukrainian war in effect, Russians situated around the world are taking the flak for the actions of certain people. We understand you’re angry, and so is the world. Russians inside Russia are getting arrested for protesting against the war. We can be certain that people on both sides want this to stop.
Meta’s decision to allow Ukrainians to call for the deaths of Russian military and political leaders is the right one in this regard. It will enable Ukraine and the world to channel its anger at the people fuelling the violence.