Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter limit Russia access to ads

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Following Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine, some big social platforms announced restricting Russia-based state media from running ads or monetizing on its platform. 

Social media platforms like Meta-owned Facebook sanctioned the Russian state media after receiving an order to stop fact-checking and labeling content posted by said state-owned Russian media organizations.

“We are now prohibiting Russian state media from running ads or monetizing on our platform anywhere in the world,” announced Facebook Security policy head Nathaniel Gleicher on a Twitter post.

Instead, Facebook released a feature that allows users to lock their profiles to increase Ukraine’s security. Reportedly, this is the same feature previously used when Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last year. Facebook also formed a special team Special Operations Center to watch the unfolding military conflict in Ukraine. 

Similarly, Meta’s other social media platform, Instagram, also upped its privacy and account security alert in Ukraine, providing steps to protect users’ Instagram accounts. 

Meanwhile, Twitter announced on its social media platform that it would be putting a temporary hold on ads in Ukraine and Russia, saying it would “ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.”

Further in the thread, the platform enlisted several measures to protect users. This includes suspending some tweet recommendations from people users aren’t following, while the search and home timeline prompt direct users to a Twitter Moment that provides digital security information.

Twitter will also be “proactively reviewing tweets to detect platform manipulation.” This includes monitoring the accounts of journalists, government officials, activists, and other high-profile accounts to prevent “targeted takeover or manipulation. The platform will take “enforcement action” against detected tweets with such manipulation.

On the other hand, YouTube implements a mix of outright banning and semi-banning. Initially reported by Reuters, YouTube blocked state-backed Russian media outlets from advertising and earning money on the platform. It will also demonize several of Russia’s state-run media channels affiliated with recent sanctions and some of Ukraine’s. The latter is due to “a government request.”

However, there’s no specific list of what channels have been temporarily demonetized, as some state-backed channels still show to have ads, as per Politico chief technology correspondent Mark Scott pointed out in his Twitter post.