Facebook Kind Of Flip Flops On Letting People Call For The Death Of Putin And Muddies The Waters In The Process

Last week, I highlighted a policy change by Facebook which let a handful of countries around Russia do things like call for the death of Vladimir Putin. At the time I said this:

Not that I want to defend Putin. But if I put up a post on this blog calling for the death of US President Joe Biden, I am certain that some US law enforcement agency would be on my doorstep looking for me by the end of the day. In other words, while rules cannot be absolute, this doesn’t seem right to me. Even if its application is limited in scope as is the case here. And I have to wonder if this policy will do more harm than good. Because everything that Facebook does does more harm than good.

It now seems that Facebook has flipped flopped on this… Sort of:

Last week, Facebook temporarily relaxed its policies so that Ukrainian users could post threats of violence against the Russian military, which invaded its neighbor in late February. The change led to some public confusion as to what was allowed, and what was not, on Facebook and Instagram. Meta’s President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg posted a statement Friday saying the move is aimed at protecting Ukrainian rights and doesn’t signal tolerance for “discrimination, harassment or violence towards Russians.” On Sunday, he tried to further explain the company’s stance to employees in an internal post. “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,” Clegg wrote in the internal post, which was reviewed by Bloomberg.

So, is that clear? You can post a threat of violence against the military but not Putin? Right. This change doesn’t help.

#Fail Facebook.

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