Facebook, Instagram Make Exceptions to Allow Posts Calling for Putin’s Death

The platforms are temporarily changing their rules on hate speech

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Facebook and Instagram on Thursday said it would temporarily allow content calling for violence against “Russian invaders” in certain countries — making an exception to its hate speech rules as conflict in Ukraine continues.

Per Reuters, these exceptions will also allow content calling for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland, according to internal emails.

“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” a Meta spokesperson said to Reuters.

Meta reps did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Meta said these violent speech posts would otherwise be removed under its hate speech policy. These posts include those targeting Russian soldiers, with the exception of prisoners of war, or targeting Russians where it’s clear the context is the invasion of Ukraine. The policy continues to “prohibit attacks on Russians,” the report noted.

Last week, Russia’s internet censorship agency said it was banning Facebook in the country in response to the platform’s restrictions on Russian media. Twitter was also restricted in Russia following that news, while other tech companies have continued responding to sanctions by halting their ad sales and other operations in Russia.