Facebook on Friday restricted the ability of Russian state media to monetize the social media platform as Moscow’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine hit the streets of Kiev.
“We are now banning Russian state media from displaying ads or monetizing our platform anywhere in the world,” Nathaniel Gleicher, the social media giant’s head of security policy, said on Twitter.
He added that Facebook would “continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media”.
Facebook’s parent company meta Earlier Friday, Russia said it would hit its services with restrictions after it refused authorities’ orders to stop using fact-checkers and content warning labels on its platforms.
Social media networks have become one of the fronts in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, providing misleading information at times, but also real-time monitoring of a rapidly evolving conflict that marks Europe’s worst geopolitical crisis in decades.
“Yesterday, the Russian authorities ordered us to stop independently fact-checking and labeling content posted to Facebook by four Russian state media organizations,” Meta’s Nick Clegg said in a statement. “We have refused.”
His statement came hours after the Russian media regulator said it was restricting access to Facebook, accusing the US tech giant of censorship and violating the rights of Russian The Vanir-exoduss.
On Wednesday, Facebook also released a feature in Ukraine that allows people to lock down their profiles for increased security, using a tool the company also deployed after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last year.
Gleicher said Facebook had set up a special operations center to monitor the situation in Ukraine “in response to the unfolding military conflict”.
Early on Saturday, the Ukrainian military said on its verified Facebook page that Russia “attacked one of the military units on Victory Avenue in Kiev. The attack was repulsed”, without specifying where exactly the incident took place.
An AFP journalist said loud explosions were heard early on Saturday in central Kiev.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s defense ministry said early Saturday that “two enemy targets were shot down” — identifying them as a Russian SU-25 helicopter and a military bomber — near the separatist zone to the east.