Facebook to Temporarily Allow Posts Calling for Violence Against ‘Russian Invaders’ Amid Ukraine War

The change was confirmed in a report this week, with a Meta rep confirming that any "credible calls" for violence against civilians will not be allowed.

Signage for the Meta offices is pictured amid wilderness

Image via Getty/Justin Sullivan

Signage for the Meta offices is pictured amid wilderness

Facebook and Instagram users in certain regions will be temporarily allowed to use “violent speech” against “Russian invaders,” Meta confirmed this week amid ongoing coverage of the Ukraine invasion.

As first reported by Reuters, the company will also temporarily allow (under certain conditions) posts calling for Vladimir Putin or Alexander Lukashenko’s deaths, with internal communications cited in the report noting that these allowances are part of an impermanent alteration of Meta’s hate speech policy.

In a statement included in the report, a rep for Meta detailed the FB and IG parent company’s rationale behind the decision, notably stating that the temporary change was due to Russia’s invasion of 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,’” the rep said Thursday. “We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.”

As for the allowance of posts calling for the deaths of the aforementioned presidents of Russia and Belarus, respectively, Thursday’s report notes that such content will not be allowed if others are named, and/or if specifics (i.e. a location, etc.) are mentioned.

Complex has reached out to an FB rep for additional comment and will update this post accordingly.

As Bloombergreported Friday, prosecutors in Russia have asked a court to designate both FB and IG as “extremist.” In that report, a Meta rep echoed the company’s prior comments about a temporary policy change while pointing out that the exception is intended to allow users “to express sentiments toward invading armed forces.”

In a subsequent statement, as seen below, Nick Clegg—Meta’s President of Global Affairs—addressed the growing news coverage surrounding the temporary policy adjustment. “To be clear, we are only going to apply this policy in Ukraine itself, he said, adding that the company has “no quarrel with the Russian people.”

Responding to reports that the Russian government is considering designating Meta as an extremist organization for its policies in support of speech: pic.twitter.com/Y8sUbZDSML

— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) March 11, 2022

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