Twitter, Facebook Allow Russian Propaganda as Ukraine Threatened — Both Banned Trump

Russian state-controlled media have the ability to use Facebook and Twitter as a way to keep verified accounts while Russia plans to invade Ukraine. Both platforms ban violent organizations. For allegedly encouraging violence, the former president Donald Trump is still banned on both social media platforms.

The Russian government has been adding troops to the Ukraine border and controlling RT, Sputnik and other media outlets.  Russia’s warlike moves have reached a point where both the U.K. & the U.S. are withdrawing embassy personnel and their families from Ukraine. Yet RT’s official Twitter account, @RT_comYou can still use the platform to send a message. This is confirmed by @RT_com. @RT_com’s Twitter bio laughably says, “Freedom over censorship, truth over narrative.” 

Also verified by Facebook is @RTnews, the Russian state media outlet. Sputnik News is also available on Facebook with verified accounts TwitterFacebook. Twitter’s policies explicitly ban “violent organizations” and affiliates, and Facebook’s policies ban organizations that “are engaged in violence,” including against “state or military actors.”

The RT/Sputnik accounts are allowed to post on Facebook or Twitter because they serve as the propaganda arm for a government that is threatening another sovereign state. 

As one example of RT’s propaganda, last week it tweetedGraham Hryce, an Australian journalist. Hryce explicitly accused Trump of a “ham-fisted coup attempt,” referring to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and insisting Trump “had cynically manipulated [his supporters] for his own purposes.” Hryce’s basis for his extreme accusation against Trump was unspecified “evidence” from the partisan Jan. 6 committee established in the U.S. House. Trump had actually advised his supporters “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Trump later tweeted a plea to “stay peaceful.”

RT posted on Facebook the news that Israel is looking to evacuate Ukraine’s Jews under the threat of a Russian invasion. The RT article denied the current invasion threat and accused “Nazi German forces and local collaborators” of being responsible for all Jewish deaths under Soviet-controlled Ukraine without addressing the Russian history of anti-Semitism. While thousands of Jewish Ukrainians were murdered by the Nazi Gestapo during World War II (the Holocaust), pre-Soviet Russia had a long history of mass murders of Jewish Russians (pogroms), and Joseph Stalin, a Soviet dictator was anti-Semitic. He persecuted Jewish Russians and verbally condemned such actions.

Sputnik published a Facebook post deniging Russia’s plan to invade Ukraine.

Twitter and Facebook have consistently allowed extremist groups and government-affiliated accounts to post what appears to be violative content, even as the platforms continue to censor free speech. Chinese state-linked Facebook accounts had 751 millions followers as of June 2021. A tweetFrom the Chinese state media website Global Times threatening in October to make Taiwan and Australia “cannon fodder,” for example, remains on Twitter uncensored as of this article’s publication.

Conservatives under attack. Twitter contact at (415-222-9670) and Facebook headquarters at (650-308-7300) to ask for Big Tech’s accountability to the First Amendment, while ensuring clarity and equality on hate speech. We can help you if your identity has been compromised. Contact the Media Research Center Contact formHelp us to hold Big Tech responsible.

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