Participants of an unauthorized rally in the center of St. Petersburg against the Russian military operation in Ukraine. On the morning of February 24, President Putin announced a special military operation by the Russian Armed Forces in response to calls for help from the leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The poster reads “No to war.”

Alexander Demyanchuk | TASS | Getty Images

American technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter have begun to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, trying to stop the spread of misinformation and demonetize advertising that is posted on Russian state media accounts.

Ukrainian Minister of Digital Technology Mikhail Fedorov posted public messages on Telegram and Twitter to put pressure on technology leaders in an attempt to attract support.

Some companies have already started making changes.

Meta, which owns global social media giant Facebook, sadly removed on Monday a network run by people in Russia and Ukraine that “launched several websites that were published by independent news agencies, publishing allegations that the West was betraying Ukraine.” and Ukraine is a failed state. ”

He also identified an attempted hacking and phishing by Ghostwriter, a notorious threat who tried to hack accounts to post YouTube videos showing Ukrainian troops surrendering Russian accounts to post misinformation. Last weekend, Facebook said it had demonetized Russian state media accounts and began adding new security features to Ukrainian accounts, such as the ability to block a user’s profile or hide a list of friends.

After talks with the Ukrainian government, the company also said it would restrict access to several accounts in Ukraine, including some Russian state media. The company is also “considering other government requests to restrict Russian state media,” the blog update said Sunday.

YouTube, owned by Google, said on Saturday it was also demonetizing several Russian companies, including state-run information company RT. A spokesman told CNBC that he would limit the channel’s recommendations. In response, the government will also restrict access to RT and a number of other channels in Ukraine.

Google has cut some features of Google Maps in Ukraine to protect citizens, according to Reuters, which says that the company removed live traffic from the application and disabled the feature that shows how busy the stores.

Meanwhile, Twitter said last week that it was “actively” monitoring the risks and working to remove misinformation. Advertising is also suspended in Ukraine and Russia.

Federov said last week, he sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking him to stop supplying Apple services, including the App Store, and products to Russia. This could help young Russians “actively stop the shameful military aggression,” Fedorov wrote.

Feder also summoned Tesla and SpaceX CEO Ilana Maska, asking him to provide Starlink equipment to Ukraine.

“While you are trying to colonize Mars – Russia is trying to occupy Ukraine! While your missiles are successfully landing from space – Russian missiles are attacking Ukrainian civilians! We ask you to give Ukraine a Starlink station and ask smart Russians to stand,” Feder said.

Musk responded later that day, saying: “The Starlink service is now active in Ukraine. More terminals in the route.

However, some world leaders say Big Tech has not reacted aggressively enough. The prime ministers of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia sent a letter to the leaders of Facebook, Alphabet, Google, YouTube and Twitter on Sunday, urging them to “take a stand”.

“Although online platforms have made significant efforts to combat the unprecedented attack on the truth by the Russian government, they have not done enough,” said a letter shared by Estonian Prime Minister Kaya Kalas. “Russia’s disinformation has been tolerated on Internet sites for many years; they are now a tool of the criminal aggressive war waged by the Russian government against Ukraine and the free world. “


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