Pro Russia Rebels Using Facebook For Nefarious Reasons…. It’s Seriously Time To #DeleteFacebook

Facebook appears to be in trouble again. It appears that Pro Russia rebels are using Facebook to spread propaganda and recruit people. And what makes this worse is the fact that one of the main people behind this is on the US sanctions list:

In the days after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Aleksandr Zaldostanov, the leader of a pro-Putin biker club gang, the Night Wolves, turned to Facebook to disparage the Ukrainian president and push falsehoods about the war. 

“Ukraine is a torn off piece of Russia, which is shrinking in pain and bleeding still,” he posted on March 1 to more than 18,000 followers. “Russia did not start a war now!!!! Those who divided us started it!” 

A former physician known by his nickname, “the Surgeon,” Zaldostanov has been on the U.S. government sanctions list since 2014, amid allegations he helped Russian troops confiscate weapons during the country’s invasion of Crimea. 

The sanctions block Zaldostanov’s assets and generally prohibit U.S. citizens from “dealing” with him, but on Facebook he maintains a very active account, posting frequent support of Russia since the invasion.

That’s bad enough. But it gets worse if you’re Facebook:

The host of sanctioned entities and individuals who, like Zaldostanov, maintain a robust Facebook and Instagram presence is the subject of a pair of new whistleblower complaints, filed in December and February, arguing that Facebook parent company Meta engaged in “reckless or willful” violations of U.S. sanctions law by permitting the accounts, according to redacted copies reviewed exclusively by The Washington Post.

The existence of these accounts, the filings allege, allowed the users to cultivate global legitimacy and spread Russian propaganda. The complaints identify other posts appearing to recruit fighters and solicit funds to back pro-Russian separatists, which some legal experts suggest could violate U.S. sanctions laws, as well as Facebook’s rules. One post from a pro-Russian rebel called for volunteers with experience “in combat and armed conflicts.” Another video sought donations for separatist forces to pay for “equipment for soldiers on the front.” (The Post independently viewed this content on Facebook Tuesday.) 

Facebook really has some explaining to do here as this is really, really bad. And I hope it explains everything in front of a Congressional hearing. Or better yet in court. Because it’s beyond time that Facebook gets punished for all the trouble that it causes in places like Myanmar and now in the Russia/Ukraine conflict. Or you can just hand out your own punishment to Facebook by deleting them out of your lives.

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