Facebook, Instagram Change Rules to Allow for Calls for Violence Against Russians

It’s kind of funny.

Maybe it’s really funny.


Meta Platforms (FB.O) will allow Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion, according to internal emails seen by Reuters on Thursday, in a temporary change to its hate speech policy.

The social media company is also temporarily allowing some posts that call for death to Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, according to internal emails to its content moderators.

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.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

But you’re allowed to call for violence against Russians generally.

This is just kooky.

I don’t even understand why they would announce this. They could just internally tell people this new rule. The only reason they would announce it is if they wanted to encourage people to do it.

The calls for the leaders’ deaths will be allowed unless they contain other targets or have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method, one email said, in a recent change to the company’s rules on violence and incitement.

Citing the Reuters story, Russia’s embassy in the United States demanded that Washington stop the “extremist activities” of Meta.

“Users of Facebook & Instagram did not give the owners of these platforms the right to determine the criteria of truth and pit nations against each other,” the embassy said on Twitter in a message that was also shared by their India office.

The temporary policy changes on calls for violence to Russian soldiers apply to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, and Ukraine, according to one email.

In the email recently sent to moderators, Meta highlighted a change in its hate speech policy pertaining both to Russian soldiers and to Russians in the context of the invasion.

We are issuing a spirit-of-the-policy allowance to allow T1 violent speech that would otherwise be removed under the Hate Speech policy when: (a) targeting Russian soldiers, EXCEPT prisoners of war, or (b) targeting Russians where it’s clear that the context is the Russian invasion of Ukraine (e.g., content mentions the invasion, self-defense, etc.),” it said in the email.

So, are people allowed to call for killing Ukrainians?

Are they allowed to call for the assassination of Zelensky?

It seems like that would only be fair, right?

Rhetorical question. 

Instead, negative information about Zelensky is being banned or downranked.

If anyone doubts that, post this article from the “credible source” of The Guardian saying that Zelensky was given $41 million in bribe money he stores in an offshore account by Ukrainian “oligarch” (read: extremely wealthy Jewish criminal) Igor Kolomoisky.

See what happens.

My guess is if they don’t just ban you for posting it, it won’t get hardly any interaction, meaning it has been downranked by the algorithm.

I’m not going to tell you to do an experiment in taking one of these posts calling for “killing Russians” and “assassinating Putin” and switching it for “Ukrainians” and “Zelensky,” because that will just get you a visit by the FBI.

As Lindsey Graham says: “Zelensky is the good guy and Putin is the bad guy.”

Those are our values.

It’s who we are.