Normally you are not allowed to post texts or images on Facebook that have anything to do with violence, threats or murder. But in some countries you are now allowed to do so, because of the war between Russia and Ukraine. For example, you are allowed to wish Russian President Vladimir Putin or Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko dead, among others.
This is only allowed under strict conditions. Your message may not contain threats to other people. Also, no “indicators of credibility” may be present. By that Facebook means: you may not tell where you want to do this or in what way. Apart from that, your curse is welcome on the platform.
Facebook now allows more
A representative of Facebook parent company Meta describes the situation as follows. “As a result of the Russian invasion, we are temporarily allowing certain political expressions. Normally, those posts go against our guidelines.” But now you are allowed to shout things like “Death to the Russian invaders.”
Mark Zuckerberg (Image: EPA / Michael Reynolds)
This new policy does not apply in every country. The New York Times discovered that it applies to some countries in Eastern Europe. These include Ukraine, Russia, Poland, the Baltic states, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary. If you shout those kinds of things here in the Netherlands, there is a good chance that your message will be deleted.
The company guidelines
In normal situations, posts with such language, in which groups of people are dehumanized or attacked, are deleted. But Facebook thinks context is important here: Russian soldiers are a proxy for the Russian military. And so with no credible indicators, they are now allowed to remain.
It is not yet clear whether the posts will still be removed. Indeed, the guidelines have received quite a few comments since they were made public in 2018. It is also not yet clear how the Russian government and the censorship institute Roskomnadzor will respond.