Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. clarified on Sunday that it is against the company’s user rules to share a post that “calls for the death of a head of state” — likely a reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Last week, Facebook temporarily relaxed its policies so that Ukrainian users could post threats of violence against the Russian military, which invaded its neighbor in late February. The change led to some public confusion as to what was allowed, and what was not, on Facebook and Instagram.
Meta’s President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg posted a statement Friday saying the move is aimed at protecting Ukrainian rights and doesn’t signal tolerance for “discrimination, harassment or violence towards Russians.” On Sunday, he tried to further explain the company’s stance to employees in an internal post.
“We are now narrowing the focus to make it explicitly clear in the guidance that it is never to be interpreted as condoning violence against Russians in general,” Clegg wrote in the internal post, which was reviewed by Bloomberg. He added that the revised policy only applies in Ukraine, and “only in the context of speech regarding the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.”
“We also do not permit calls to assassinate a head of state,” Clegg said, though he didn’t mention Putin by name.
Russia has blocked both Facebook and Instagram in the past two weeks, citing Meta’s content policy decisions. Meta previously blocked Russia state-backed media accounts in Ukraine and the Europe Union, and has blocked all advertising from Russian businesses.