Social media networks respond to the crisis in Ukraine, Russia partially restricts access to Facebook, and LinkedIn users want to be wooed.

December 11, 2023


Social media networks respond to the crisis in Ukraine, Russia partially restricts access to Facebook, and LinkedIn users want to be wooed.
Social media platforms respond to the conflict in Ukraine

Social platforms are responding to the conflict in Ukraine as they face real-time threats over the weaponisation of their networks. Facebook, Twitter and the like have been drafted to the digital frontline of the war after it became clear that it is being waged, in parallel, online. Here’s how they’ve intervened so far.


Twitter has announced a temporary ban on all ads in Ukraine and Russia to “ensure critical public safety information is elevated and ads don’t detract from it.” It has also shared a series of safety tips for users on the ground in both countries, created a Twitter ‘moment’ where it compiles the updates from reliable sources and launched a feature allowing users to affix a sensitive content warning to photos and videos they tweet.


Meta has launched a Special Operations centre, staffed by experts across the company (including native Russian and Ukrainian speakers). The centre is dedicated to responding to activity on the platform in real time so that it can remove content that violates Community Standards faster and closely monitor for harmful content trends. As part of this, it has also added new warning labels for war-related content that the system detects to be over one year old and prohibited ads from Russian state media, demonetising the accounts and limiting the country’s ability to use the platform for prograpanda.


Youtube has restricted access to Russian state-owned media outlets for users in Ukraine, removed Russian state-owned channels from recommendations and suspended monetisation for several Russian channels.


TikTok has yet to make an official comment on the conflict, but several reports have shown it is being used to spread orchestrated disinformation, including videos that are over 5 years old.

Russia announces partial ban on Facebook

The Russian government has ‘partially restricted’ access to Facebook over claims that the platform unlawfully censored the accounts of four Russian media outlets. In a statement from the Ministry of Communications, officials accused the social network of violating fundamental human rights and freedoms, as well as the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens, when it decided to restrict access to the official accounts. Officials claim they were pushed to take such measures after Facebook ignored their requests for an explanation. In response to the allegations, Meta global affairs president Nick Clegg said Russia had ordered the platform to stop labelling content from state-controlled media as misinformation, to which the platform refused, leading to the ban. The statement did not detail how the partial restriction would be carried out, nor the impact it would have on Facebook’s operations in Russia. But it is yet another attempt, in a long history of incendiary moves by the country, to control the public narrative and dissemination of information on social networks, both nationally and abroad.

LinkedIn users don’t like unwanted messages

And in slightly lighter news, LinkedIn users value effort according to a new survey by Social Media Today. The publication ran a poll asking users to choose the most annoying thing about LinkedIn between scammers, off topic posts, irrelevant notifications and unwanted messages; of which the latter was the clear winner.  33% of people said receiving unsolicited messages was the worst thing about the platform, going so far as to offer examples of the exact type of message that annoyed them the most. Respondents highlighted product pitches, using the platform as a dating app and messages sent within seconds of connecting as some of the worst examples. But the general consensus was that any form of random outreach, without any attempt to engage or develop a relationship, was a no-go for most users. “If you want to build a business relationship, you should focus on the ‘relationship’ element before the hard sell,” the publication wrote. So you know what to do. Woo away. 

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