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Meta launches ‘special operations centre’ in response to Russia’s ‘devastating’ invasion of Ukraine

Russia has been accused of false flag operations in an attempt to justify its invasion

Adam Smith
Friday 25 February 2022 17:45 GMT
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Meta has created a dedicated task force in order to fight misinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russian troops have launched a “full scale invasion” with an attack on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv expected within the day.

"The situation in Ukraine is devastating," the company’s president of global affairs and the UK’s former deputy prime minister Nick Clegg said.

"We’ve established a Special Operations Center, staffed by experts and native speakers, to respond in real time to remove hate speech or content that incites violence or otherwise breaks our rules.

"We’re taking extensive steps to fight the spread of misinformation, and labelling content from state-controlled media and content that fact checkers have rated false. And our cybersecurity teams are monitoring closely for coordinated attempts to abuse our platform.”

The company, which owns Facebook and Twitter, also rolled out extra security to Ukrainian users letting them protect their accounts.

Misinformation is already spreading across social media, such as a clip taken from a video game which amass millions of views as users falsely claimed it depicted real attacks.

Another video, of a claimed Russian fighter jet being shot down, was actually from Libya over a decade ago.

YouTube has also continued to host Russian propaganda channels, putting pressure on Google to step in.

Meta’s reputation on protecting foreign users has been mixed. In August last year it brought in new security measures to protect its users in Afghanistan over concerns that the Taliban could use them to track opponents of the government, but in years past it had not been as effective – admitting in 2018 that it did not do enough to curb hate speech in Myanmar that caused attacks on the Rohingya Muslims.

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