Russia is limiting access to Meta services because it wouldn't let the country lie

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What you need to know

  • Russia demanded that Meta stop fact checking some local media outlets.
  • Meta says it refused to comply and would continue to fact check Russian news.
  • Russia is now limiting access to Meta services in the country.

Meta says that Russia is limiting access to some of its services because it refused a demand to stop fact checking the country's claims.

In a post to Twitter, Meta VP of Global Affairs Nick Clegg said that Russia had demanded that the company "stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content" posted to Facebook by "four Russian state-owned" outlets. Meta refused and now some of its services are being restricted.

Yesterday, Russian authorities ordered us to stop the independent fact-checking and labelling of content posted on Facebook by four Russian state-owned media organizations. We refused. As a result, they have announced they will be restricting the use of our services.Ordinary Russians are using our apps to express themselves and organize for action. We want them to continue to make their voices heard, share what's happening, and organize through Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.

The move comes as Russia tries to control the news stories circulating inside Russia amid its ongoing aggression towards Ukraine, a country it began the invasion of a day or so ago.

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Clegg's comment suggests that Russian news agencies wanted to be able to post content to Meta's platforms without the possibility of it being flagged as untrue during the fact-checking process. Following Meta's refusal to pause those checks, Russia is now preventing its people from accessing parts of the Meta ecosystem of services.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.