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Meta dials back hate speech policy relaxations on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after backlash

It all began when Meta reportedly decided to allow forms of political expression that would normally violate its hate speech policy.

Meta has said that it will be tweaking its content moderation policy on Ukraine to weed out calls for the death of a head of state, according to a Reuters report on March 14. The company had earlier decided that it would temporarily allow posts clamouring for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Russian soldiers, and politicians, on Facebook and Instagram. Meta had reasoned that a temporary change in its content policy would allow users to fully express their discontent against Russia's invasion, as per Reuters. The posts would only be allowed in Ukraine. "We are now narrowing the focus to make it explicitly clear in the guidance that it is never to be interpreted as condoning violence against Russians in general," Meta global affairs President Nick Clegg was quoted as saying. Clegg clarified that the company does not permit calls to assassinate a head of state, Reuters reported. The move to tweak its content moderation policy was to eschew the ambiguity present in the earlier announcement. The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has invited swift condemnation across the world. However, one can argue that Meta providing leeway for violent speech against Russians sets a dangerous precedent for future conflicts. The content can turn out to be potentially incendiary which can have catastrophic ripple effects. Meta’s reversal only confirms the fact that the company should not have made such concessions in the first place. [embed]https://twitter.com/abhishekbhaya/status/1502476544664432643[/embed] Where does Facebook’s hate speech policy stand now? Nick Clegg…

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I cover several beats such as Crypto, Telecom, and OTT at MediaNama. I can be found loitering at my local theatre when I am off work consuming movies by the dozen.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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