How social media platforms are managing users’ war content

Russia At War

(NewsNation Now) — Ukrainians are using social media to reach people worldwide, showing the devastation in their war-stricken country. From missiles striking buildings to people fleeing their homes, powerful images online are gaining millions of views across platforms such as TikTok and Twitter.

It certainly highlights the power of the platforms and has rallied citizens across the globe to reach out to their governments to provide aid and affect change in the war-torn region.  

The content, in many cases, is more personal than the footage from journalist reports.  

The posts are creating an intimate perspective, taking viewers right to the heart of the war.  

“You are seeing basically a worldwide coalescing around the Ukrainian cause and against the Russian invasion,” said Jason Steinhauer, author of “History, Disrupted.”

The response has put additional pressure on governments to act.

“Today, actually, literally today, the United Nations voted in terms of condemning what Russia is doing in numbers we haven’t seen before. And part of that was in direct contrast to the words of the Russian ambassador, who was saying that we are not invading. You know, he was literally stating things that everybody in the world can see with their own eyes when they have a TikTok account, Facebook account, any kind of social media,” said Andrij Dobriansky, director of communications for Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is also forcing big tech companies to decide how to handle state-controlled media outlets now spreading propaganda and misinformation.

“It is hard to, from a technological perspective … have accurate classifiers that can continue to be updated as bad actors find new tactics,” said Katie Harbath, director of Tech & Democracy at the International Republican Institute.

None of the U.S.-owned tech companies have responded with an outright ban on Russia-sponsored content. Instead they’ve offered more modest changes by limiting the Kremlin’s reach, labeling more content and prohibiting Russian state media from making money off ads.

“They are trying to both stand up to the country, but also not go so far that Putin just pulls the plug on them being available,” Harbath added.

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