The rapidly-moving events in Ukraine are beginning to spark policy changes from big technology companies, in various ways.
Yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told staff that the company has “paused all product sales in Russia”, removed state-media outlets RT and Sputnik’s apps from its App Store outside Russia; and disabled some features of its Apple Maps app in Ukraine as a “safety and precautionary measure for Ukrainian citizens”.
YouTube has blocked RT and Sputnik’s YouTube channels across Europe, while Snap has stopped all ads running in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, while promising that it is “vigilantly monitoring our platform for any evidence of disinformation or misuse”.
Some useful context on the challenges of moderating social media platforms at this time is provided by Wired’s article about TikTok and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. From old footage claiming to be new, repurposed game footage and other disinformation, TikTok is having to moderate the content going viral on its service in real-time – under growing scrutiny from politicians, particularly in the US.
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