At the request of the country’s government, Meta has taken its most significant action to date against Russian state media amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. On Sunday, Nick Clegg, the company’s recently promoted president of global affairs, said Meta was restricting certain Russian accounts in the war-torn nation.
“We’ve been in contact with the Ukrainian government and, at their request, we’ve also restricted access to several accounts in Ukraine, including those belonging to some Russian state media,” Clegg said. We contacted Meta to ask the company to clarify how it is restricting these accounts.
Clegg noted that Ukraine had also asked Meta to restrict Russian access to Facebook and Instagram. For now, the company has rejected that request, saying that people in the country have used its platforms to organize anti-war protests and access independent information. “We believe that disabling our services would silence important expression at a crucial time,” it said.
The most recent decision comes after Meta blocked Russian state media from accessing its advertising platform or using other monetization features. Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor threatened to throttle and restrict access to Facebook after company officials refused to stop fact-checking state-backed media organizations on the platform.
Clegg said Sunday that the company would continue to tag and verify content from these outlets. He also confirmed, following reports from Internet watchdog organization NetBlocks, that the Russian government has begun restricting access to its social networks.