- The Washington Times - Friday, February 25, 2022

Russia slapped limits on its citizens’ access to Facebook after the social media giant refused to stop fact-checking the country’s state-run media, according to Facebook.

Facebook, which has reorganized as Meta, said Friday that it is refusing a Russian demand to remove fact-checking and labeling of content posted by state-run media organizations. In response, Moscow announced a “partial restriction” of access to the platform. 

“Ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organize for action,” Nick Clegg, Meta vice president, said in a statement posted on Twitter. “We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what’s happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.” 

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Meta organized a team of employees to respond in real-time to content inciting violence, breaking the company’s rules or that included hate speech, according to the company.

The company said its cybersecurity teams also would be looking for coordinated efforts to abuse the company’s platforms. 

Facebook previously paid fines to Russia for content the company refused to remove, according to Reuters. Facebook paid 17 million rubles or nearly $230,000 in fines late last year.  

• This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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