Meta has expanded a ban on Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik on Facebook and Instagram globally to stop the flow of misinformation as Russian forces make deeper inroads into Ukraine.
In addition to restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the European Union, the company announced to “globally demote content from Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts from Russian state-controlled media outlets and make them harder to find across our platforms”.
“We have also begun to demote posts that contain links to Russian state-controlled media websites on Facebook,” Meta said in a statement.
In the days ahead, “we will label these links and provide more information to people before they share or click on them to let them know that they lead to Russian state-controlled media websites. We plan on putting similar measures in place on Instagram”.
The company is already labelling Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts from Russian state-controlled media outlets so people know where this information comes from.
“By providing this additional transparency, we aim to give people more context if they want to share direct links to Russian state-controlled media websites or when others see someone’s post that contains a link to one of these sites,” it added.
Most Big Tech platforms like Meta, Twitter, Google (and YouTube) and Microsoft have banned Russian state media outlets in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.
Meta said that since February 23, more than $20 million has been raised for nonprofits on Facebook and Instagram in support of humanitarian efforts for Ukraine.
“We’ve also seen Facebook Groups created to help those in need, including a group of 200,000 Romanian volunteers and donors coordinating transportation and accommodations for refugees. And a group of more than 300,000 in Poland is offering housing, clothing, medication and rides from the border to help those in need,” the company informed.
As part of its ‘Data for Good’ programme, Meta is making aggregated data on social connections available to trusted organisations working to provide medical services and support to refugees, like Direct Relief.