Russian narratives are again spreading on social networks and large technological companies leave it unattended. Thousands of tweets, YouTube videos and other social networks, marked as Russian propaganda or anti-Ukrainian hatred language, are not removed after complaints, writes The Washington Post.
At the beginning of the war, social networks actively took measures against Russian fakes. They blocked or restricted the Russian state media accounts, strengthened fact checking, banned the sale of advertising in Russia. However, in six months, the methods of propaganda evolved, and technological companies ceased to respond actively to them.
“In the first months of full-scale Russian aggression (American technological companies) were very proactive, interested in helping. Now they avoid calling us,” says Mykola Balaban, Deputy Head of the Center for Strategic Communications and Information Security.
According to him, some platforms, such as Facebook from Meta and LinkedIn from Microsoft continue to respond to the appeal. At that time, Youtube from Google ignores their letters for almost two months.
Worrying of Ukrainian officials is confirmed by the research of a European non -profit organization. It shows that complaints about anti-Ukrainian content remain unanswered. Also, social networks do not block propaganda accounts and fake accounts that pretend to be Ukrainian officials.
The research has shown that more than 70% of publications marked as anti-Ukrainian hatred language on Twitter and YouTube remained available at the end of June. The accounts that created them were also active. Linkedin removed less than half of the publications marked as Russian propaganda. Facebook deleted all 98 posts that they complained about the anti-Ukrainian language of hatred. At the same time, the accounts responsible for the posts were active.
“I don’t think it’s bad will on the part of the tech companies. It’s really just lack of resources, lack of investment, lack of preparedness,” says Felix Kartte, co-author of European research.
According to him, companies lack Ukrainian and Russian-speaking specialists with local expertise. Media platforms have less experience and invest fewer resources in non-English. Long before the Russian invasion, they were criticized because social networks paid too little attention to Russian propaganda.
Meanwhile propaganda also adapted to the restrictions that were introduced at the beginning of the war. Since major public media have been blocked, Russian narratives are distributed through individual thought leaders and trolls that coordinate through Telegram.
“The Russian disinformation war is a real invasion of our digital space. The examples in the report show once again that big online platforms have taken insufficient measures to protect their users against this invasion. This has real-life consequences across the whole world,” says Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services.
Russian misinformation is trying to undermine Ukraine’s public support in the West. It involves those who tend to believe in conspiracy and people who have not decided on their own position about the war in Ukraine. According to experts, platforms should develop a more proactive approach to the fight against Russian propaganda, which will prevent it.