Meta—the parent company of Facebook and Instagram—made the decision of Thursday to change their rules on hate speech to temporarily allow for calls of violence against Russians.
According to internal emails obtained by Reuters, updated content moderation will allow for calls for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, as well as threats of violence against Russians inside of Ukraine. This policy will allow those in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Russia and Ukraine to make such calls.
Calls for the death of the leaders will be permitted so long as they do not contain other targets or “have two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method,” emails obtained by Reuters said.
“The emails said calls for violence against Russians are allowed when the post is clearly talking about the invasion of Ukraine. They said the calls for violence against Russian soldiers were allowed because this was being used as a proxy for the Russian military and said it would not apply to prisoners of war,” the report reads.
Russia recently implemented a ban on Facebook last week in response to Facebook’s restricting of pro-Russian media. Other sites, such as Twitter, have also been targeted by Putin, including Twitter.
Many other outlets, including pro-free speech video platform site Rumble, have also banned Russian state media such as RT and Sputnik.
Meta spokesman Joe Osborne previously said the company was “for the time being, making a narrow exception for the praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”