Facebook and Instagram will now allow users to issue death threats against ordinary Russians as part of a “temporary” change to Meta Platforms’ hate speech policy, according to reports.
As long as the calls for violence against Russians are in the context of the Ukraine invasion, Meta is using what they call “indicators of credibility” to gauge them, according to internal emails.
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“The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland, reports Reuters.
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“These calls for the leaders’ deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method.”
“The temporary policy changes apply to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.”
“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.”
The move comes on the heels of increased friction between Russia’s media regulator and Facebook as well as a mass-normalization of Russophobia seen across the globe.
Additionally, Meta is allowing praise of the Azov battalion, according to Reuters.
“For the time being, [the company is] making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard,” said Meta spokesman Joe Osborne.
As you may recall, the Azov battalion is a Neo-Nazi group that openly espouses support for Hitler’s Third Reich and its white supremacist ideologies.