Facebook says it has restricted Russian state media’s ability to earn money on the social media platform as Moscow’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine reached the streets of Kyiv.
“We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetising on our platform anywhere in the world,” Nathaniel Gleicher, the social media giant’s security policy head, said on Twitter on Friday.
He added that Facebook would “continue to apply labels to additional Russian state media”.
Facebook’s parent company Meta said earlier on Friday that Russia would hit its services with restrictions after it refused authorities’ order 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, home to sometimes misleading information but also real-time monitoring of a quickly developing conflict that marks Europe’s biggest geopolitical crisis in decades.
“Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content posted on Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organisations,” Meta’s Nick Clegg said in a statement. “We refused.”
His statement came hours after Russia’s media regulator said it was limiting access to Facebook, accusing the American tech giant of censorship and violating the rights of Russian citizens.
On Wednesday, Facebook also released a feature in Ukraine that allows people to lock 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 centre to monitor the situation in Ukraine “in response to the unfolding military conflict”.