How Big Tech Has Reshaped Modern Warfare in Ukraine

Rules are being rewritten as we go, and social platforms have to wrangle with what that means for the future

Technology’s increasing role in times of conflict has become more evident by the day with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result, social platforms are learning some tough lessons in real time and will need to wrestle with applying what they learn in the future.

Weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, tech companies continue to modify their platform rules on the fly as Russia becomes the most sanctioned country in the world. Within days, major platforms from Facebook to TikTok moved quickly to suspend Russian ads and state-owned media — in turn driving Russia to ban Instagram, Facebook and Twitter — while more changes and exceptions are being made as the war escalates. In the last month, this information war has already resulted in digital vacuums where entertainment, news and communications via social media have virtually vanished within Russia.

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Antoinette Siu

Media and Tech Reporter • • Twitter: @antoinettesiu