Facebook and TikTok block Russian state media in Europe : NPR

Fb’s mum or dad firm Meta mentioned in an announcement that it had obtained requests from plenty of governments and the European Union “to take additional steps in relation to Russian state managed media.”

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Fb’s mum or dad firm Meta mentioned in an announcement that it had obtained requests from plenty of governments and the European Union “to take additional steps in relation to Russian state managed media.”

Jenny Kane/AP file picture

Fb, TikTok and Microsoft are cracking down on Kremlin-backed information retailers RT and Sputnik following the European Union’s ban on Russian state media.

“We have now obtained requests from plenty of governments and the EU to take additional steps in relation to Russian state managed media. Given the distinctive nature of the present scenario, we can be proscribing entry to RT and Sputnik throughout the EU presently,” mentioned Nick Clegg, vice chairman of world affairs at Fb mum or dad Meta.

A spokesperson for TikTok informed NPR it was additionally blocking the 2 retailers within the EU. The strikes imply folks utilizing the social media apps in EU international locations will not be capable to entry pages or content material posted by RT and Sputnik.

Microsoft on Monday mentioned it will drop RT’s information apps from its smartphone app retailer, not show any RT or Sputnik content material on its Microsoft Begin information feed and MSN.com, and push the websites down in Bing search outcomes.

On Sunday, EU President Ursula von der Leyen introduced a ban on the 2 retailers, which she described as “the Kremlin’s media machine.”

“The state-owned Russia Immediately and Sputnik, and their subsidiaries, will now not be capable to unfold their lies to justify Putin’s warfare,” she tweeted.

The Russian media retailers have emerged as a flashpoint for social media platforms, that are beneath stress to curb Russian propaganda and disinformation in regards to the warfare in Ukraine.

RT and Sputnik have amassed giant followings on apps together with Fb, Instagram and YouTube, the place they push a pro-Kremlin agenda. RT, which has greater than 7 million followers on its major Fb web page and 4.6 million subscribers to its major YouTube channel, has framed Russia’s invasion as a response to Ukrainian aggression and toed the Kremlin’s line in calling it a “particular operation.”

Google and Fb are additionally blocking Russian state media in Ukraine on the request of the federal government there. Together with Microsoft, they’ve additionally lower off state-backed retailers from utilizing their promoting instruments.

Earlier on Monday, Twitter mentioned it will put warning labels on tweets with hyperlinks to tales from Russian state media. It is also making it much less doubtless folks will see these tweets, just like what it has finished with false claims in regards to the 2020 election and COVID-19.

Editor’s be aware: Meta pays NPR to license NPR content material. Microsoft is amongst NPR’s monetary supporters.

NPR’s Bobby Allyn contributed to this report.

Facebook to restrict access to Russian state media outlets in EU | Russia-Ukraine crisis News

Meta’s head of world affairs says firm will restrict entry to RT and Sputnik in EU amid Russian assault on Ukraine.

Fb’s dad or mum firm Meta has introduced plans to limit entry to Russian state media shops RT and Sputnik throughout the European Union, as Russia pressed on with its invasion of Ukraine.

Meta’s head of world affairs, Nick Clegg, tweeted on Monday afternoon that the social media firm had obtained requests “from plenty of Governments and the EU to take additional steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media”.

Clegg mentioned Meta would proceed to work carefully with governments on the difficulty.

“Given the distinctive nature of the present state of affairs, we might be proscribing entry to RT and Sputnik throughout the EU at the moment,” Clegg mentioned on Twitter, with out going into additional element about what the restrictions would entail.

The announcement comes on the fifth day of Russia’s navy assault on Ukraine, which has killed at the least 352 folks up to now, in keeping with the Ukrainian well being ministry, and garnered widespread condemnation.

Russian state-run media exercise on social media platforms has emerged as a contentious situation for giant tech corporations throughout the invasion of Ukraine.

Meta, Google and YouTube have taken measures in latest days to limit Russian state media shops from earning money from adverts on their websites. Twitter banned RT and Sputnik from promoting on its website in 2017.

On Friday, Fb mentioned it had restricted Russian state media’s capability to earn cash on the social media platform. The transfer got here after Russia had introduced it was partially limiting entry to Fb as the corporate mentioned it refused to adjust to an order from the Russian authorities to cease fact-checkers and content material warning labels on its platforms.

The EU mentioned on Sunday it will ban RT and Sputnik, whereas Canadian telecoms operators have additionally stopped providing the RT channel.

Police detaining protestersProtests towards the Russian invasion of Ukraine resumed on Monday, with folks taking to the streets of Moscow, St Petersburg, and different cities [Dmitri Lovetsky/AP Photo]

On Monday, the web sites of a number of Russian media shops have been hacked, with a message condemning Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine showing on their essential pages.

Whereas it’s unclear who was answerable for the hack, the interference hints at a rising anti-war sentiment amongst Russians and others all over the world. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s authorities additionally has been accused of searching for to suppress dissent.

Russia’s state communications and media watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked a number of Russian and Ukrainian media shops over their protection of the invasion of Ukraine.

The Russian journal The New Occasions, which has been brazenly important of the Kremlin, was blocked for reporting particulars about Russian navy casualties in Ukraine, which the Russian defence ministry has not disclosed.

Protests towards the invasion have been held throughout Russia for a number of days, regardless of authorities launching a mass arrest marketing campaign towards the demonstrators, whereas practically a million folks signed an internet petition demanding an finish to the warfare.

Facebook finds disinformation and hacking campaigns targeting Ukraine : NPR

A photograph of the META emblem is seen on a pill display in Moscow on Nov. 11, 2021.

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A photograph of the META emblem is seen on a pill display in Moscow on Nov. 11, 2021.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP by way of Getty Photographs

Fb dad or mum firm Meta says it has uncovered Russian efforts to undermine belief within the Ukrainian authorities and a separate try and hack Ukrainian army officers and journalists utilizing its platform.

The 2 separate campaigns had been each small in scale and caught within the early phases, the corporate mentioned.

“There’s been a number of hypothesis and curiosity on whether or not there are covert affect operations focusing on public debate in Ukraine and to what diploma we’re seeing cyber hacking teams focusing on people in Ukraine,” mentioned Nathaniel Gleicher, Meta’s head of safety coverage. “This can be a case the place we’re seeing each of these issues.”

The primary marketing campaign concerned a community of about 40 accounts, pages and teams on Fb and Instagram, operated in Russia and Ukraine. They used pretend personas, together with computer-generated profile footage, to masquerade as impartial information shops and posted claims about Ukraine being a failed state.

The main focus of the efforts gave the impression to be driving visitors to the community’s personal web sites, Meta mentioned, and the community posted throughout social media, together with on Twitter, YouTube, Telegram and Russian social networks VK and Odnoklassniki. On Fb and Instagram, it collected fewer than 5,000 followers throughout Fb and Instagram. The corporate didn’t say how many individuals interacted with or noticed its posts.

“It is a signal that whereas these actors are attempting to run these kind of affect operations, they’re getting caught sooner they usually’re not reaching the audiences that they might have reached even a couple of years in the past,” Gleicher mentioned.

Meta mentioned it is eliminated the accounts and blocked the related web sites. The corporate says it discovered hyperlinks to a different community of pretend accounts it eliminated in 2020 that concerned folks in Russia and the Donbas area of Ukraine in addition to two Crimean media organizations now sanctioned by the U.S. authorities.

Individually, Meta mentioned it has seen a surge in hacking makes an attempt of Ukrainians in current days. It tied some to a Belarusian-connected effort identified in cybersecurity circles as “Ghostwriter,” which has beforehand been blamed for cyberattacks in different European international locations.

Meta says Ghostwriter has been attempting to hack the accounts of high-profile Ukrainians, together with army officers, journalists and public figures, though it did not determine any people.

The hackers attempt to break into targets’ e-mail and social media accounts and put up disinformation. “We detected makes an attempt to focus on folks on Fb and put up YouTube movies portraying Ukrainian troops as weak and surrendering to Russia, together with a video claiming to indicate Ukrainian troopers surrendering,” mentioned David Agranovich, Meta’s director of risk disruption.

Gleicher mentioned the corporate has alerted the “handful” of Ukrainians who’ve been focused lately and is obstructing the domains the hackers use of their phishing makes an attempt.

Russia has lengthy used pretend accounts and bots to unfold disinformation on social media, together with throughout its 2014 marketing campaign to annex Crimea and within the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Since then, Fb and different tech corporations have been faster to root out this sort of inauthentic habits, says Nina Jankowicz, a fellow on the Wilson Middle who research disinformation.

On the identical time, Russia’s efforts to unfold disinformation have turn into extra overt, she mentioned, by way of official authorities communications and pro-Kremlin state media protection that will get “repackaged on platforms like TikTok and Instagram and YouTube.”

“It is much less about pretend identities, even ones which are convincing, and extra about utterly staged occasions which are speculated to create the pretext to justify this conflict,” she mentioned.

Fb, together with Google, has taken some steps in current days to limit Russian state media. Each corporations are barring these shops from earning profits from promoting on their platform and have blocked them fully in Ukraine, on the request of the Ukrainian authorities. These strikes have angered the Russian authorities, which has accused the businesses of censorship and mentioned it might restrict entry to Fb within the nation.

Jankowicz says that exhibits how the problem for social media corporations is evolving.

“Takedowns [of fake accounts] solely go to this point,” she mentioned. “We additionally want to consider the broader image: how can we get info to Ukrainians who want it proper now? How can we make it possible for Russians are listening to the reality? How can we make it possible for this battle is being lined and mentioned in a approach that’s reflective of actuality?”

Editor’s observe: Meta pays NPR to license NPR content material.