Ukrainian users complain that Facebook deletes posts about Russian aggression

On November 26, when the Ukrainian parliament considered the implementing of martial law, the posts of some Ukrainian Facebook users were removed due to “violation of community standards.” These posts contained data on the escalation in the Kerch Strait, the buildup of military equipment of the Russian Federation near the Ukrainian borders and about the President of the Russian Federation, reports Radio Svoboda.

“Facebook deleted two of my posts. I thought maybe those were the ones where I did not hold back and wrote some bad words during yesterday’s Verkhovna Rada’s meeting, but I was wrong. These posts concerned Russian aggression against Ukraine. Of course, I sent them back for a second check,” writes the deputy general director of Ukrinform, Maryna Singayiskaya, who is quoted by the news agency.

“I added two hashtags #RussiaAttacksUkraine and #StopRussianAggression. And what do you think have happened? Facebook decided to remove my post after 3 hours,” recalls Anastasia Tymofiiva, a volunteer. It seems that my two sentences really hurt the reputation of “my favorite social network.”

Among the removed content was an interview with Russian political analyst Liliya Shevtsova, who is a critic of the current political system in Russia, two other blocked posts turned out to be news about the attack and seizure of Ukrainian ships by Russians. There were the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavel Klimkin quoted about “an absolutely new level of provocation and aggression” and about the desire of the Russian Federation to seize the Sea of ​​Azov. Other news concerned the statement by the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine that the Russian Federation was pulling troops closer to the Ukrainian border.

Media lawyer Igor Roskladay appealed to Facebook administration regarding the blocked content.

“I reported about the strange blockings… And actually, Facebook reacted pretty quickly. It looked like some posts for some reason were marked as spam. There may be two reasons. First one is a technical failure, however, it seemed strange to me that three publications that dealt with Russia were removed simultaneously. And I have some suspicions, but it is impossible to confirm them now, because Facebook does not always explain the reasons for the posts’ blockage in detail,” he told in the commentary to the publication.

The Ministry of Information Policy of Ukraine has already prepared a complaint to the administration of the social network about these blockages. The ministry believes that blockings are the result of “malicious use of the network by stakeholders or a system error in content rating algorithms.” The ministry also recorded bots’ attacks spreading fakes about martial law.