Facebook will temporarily allow comments that are violent against Russians or that wish Putin dead

The Meta platforms will allow to users of Facebook and Instagram from some countries post violent comments against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the invasion of Ukraine, according to internal emails analyzed by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.

The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts who wish the death of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, or the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, in countries like Russia, Ukraine and Polandaccording to a series of internal emails to its content moderators.

Only with reference to the invasion

These death wishes to the leaders will be allowed unless they contain other objectives or have two indicators of credibility, such as location or method, an email said, in a recent change to the company’s rules on violence and incitement.

The emails said thatCalls for violence against Russians are allowed when the post speaks clearly of the invasion of Ukraine. They said that calls for violence against Russian soldiers were allowed because this was being used as a representation of the Russian military, and they said that it would not apply to prisoners of war. Meta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

permissive countries

Temporary policy changes apply to Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.

In the past week, Russia said it was going to ban Facebook in the country in response to what he said were restrictions on Russian media access on the platform. Moscow has cracked down on tech companies, including Twitter, which it said was restricted in the country, during its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls “special operation”.

Many of the major social media platforms have announced new content restrictions around the conflictincluding the blocking of Russian state media RT and Sputnik in Europe, and have shown that they have made exceptions to some of their policies during the war.

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The emails also showed that Meta would allow to praise the right-wing Azov battalionwhich is normally prohibited, in a change first reported by The Intercept.

Meta spokesman Joe Osborne previously said the company was “at the moment, making a narrow exception to praise the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of ukrainian defenseor in its role as part of the National Guard of Ukraine”.

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