Meta, the parent company above Facebook and Instagram, will make a temporary exception to its guidelines on hateful and violent language.
Because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it will not remove calls for violence against Russian leaders in certain countries, the company ruled on Thursday.
According to Reuters news agency, posts calling for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin or his Belarusian ally Alexander Lukashenko, for example, will not be removed in Russia, Ukraine and Poland, among others. According to an internal email sent to Reuters, the temporary relaxation also applies to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia.
“We are tolerant of certain political statements that normally violate our rules,” Meta spokesman Andy Stone confirmed to the French news agency AFP. Calls for violence against ordinary Russian citizens will be removed, Stone emphasizes.
The Kremlin announced last week that it was banning Facebook for restricting Russian media access to the platform. According to the microblogging site, access to Twitter is also limited in Russia.
Facebook’s new policy change is also criticized by Russia. The Russian embassy in the US demands that Facebook end its ‘extremist activities’.
“Meta’s aggressive and criminal policy, leading to hatred and hostility towards Russians, is excessive,” said the embassy of Russia, the country that bombed a children’s hospital in Mariupol this week.