Major social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have blocked ads amid the Russia-Ukraine war. Advertisers can use ads to bypass fact-checking, usually imposed on regular posts. Many social media platforms have started blocking advertisements to limit misinformation.
Companies and their involvement in the Russia-Ukraine War
For now, Facebook is blocking state-run Russian media outlets from advertising and monetizing content on the platform. The platform has “restricted” four accounts associated with Russian media outlets. In response, Russia has also partially blocked Facebook for fact-checking state-owned media.
The platform is also continuing to add labels to other Russian state media. Facebook has since established a Special Operations Center to help the network monitor and respond to the Russia-Ukraine war.
Facebook lets users in Ukraine lock their profiles, preventing anyone but friends from viewing their posts, photos, and stories. The platform used the same feature during the crisis in Afghanistan last August.
Twitter has blocked advertisements in Ukraine and Russia to ensure the visibility of public safety information. Since then, Russia has blocked Twitter to stop information related to the conflict in Ukraine. Many consider this an attempt to slow down anti-war sentiment growing among Russian citizens back home.
In Ukraine, Internet access remains active, and Twitter is still functioning.
Google has blocked advertisements by Russian media outlets via Google Search or through Gmail. The company’s European team is also closely monitoring the war in Ukraine. They have also blocked Russia’s RT app (state-owned media outlet) downloads on Ukrainian territory.
“In response to a government request, we’ve restricted access to RT and a number of other channels in Ukraine.”Google spokesperson
YouTube is also blocking state-backed Russian media outlets from advertising and earning money on the platform. The company said in a statement that it is “pausing some of the channel’s monetization on YouTube.”
Due to U.S. sanctions, Apple Pay was shut down by Russian banks. Customers of Russian banks can no longer use Apple Pay and Google Pay. Furthermore, Ukraine has also requested Apple to shut down all its services in Russia.
Social Media and the Russia-Ukraine war
The Russia-Ukraine war is being fought on two fronts, one of them being public sentiment. As we all know, social media heavily influences public sentiment and opinion. So whoever controls the media wins in the court of public opinion.