Skyline warns of the consequences of Meta's decision to allow posts inciting hatred and violence against the invading Russians
Stockholm- Skyline International for Human Rights strongly condemns the decision of Meta, the company that owns "Facebook" and "Instagram," to allow statements on its platforms by people from certain countries that advocate violence against invading Russians and Russian soldiers, as long as these statements are related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. It stresses that this decision is a dangerous expression that widenes the circle of hate speech and violence in cyberspace, which is a serious and immoral violation of the rules of publication confirmed by international conventions and norms.
In a statement released today, Saturday, Skyline warns of the risk of escalation of violent and hate speecb, especially after the dissemination of a group of internal emails to content brokers that revealed the intention of "Meta Platforms" to allow users of "Facebook" and "Instagram" in some countries to incite violence against Russian politicians and soldiers in connection with the invasion of Ukraine. Skyline believes that such action is unprofessional duplication in the application of publishing standards and the fight against hate speech.
According to internal emails circulated by several influencers through their accounts, the social media company Meta will temporarily allow some posts calling for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin or his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko, as well as violent statements against the army and Russian soldiers.
Skyline points to one of those messages, which states, " that the threats or calls against the leaders would only be allowed if they do not discuss other potential victims and do not contain "two indicators of credibility, such as the location or method."
The same was confirmed by Andy Stone, Meta's communications officer, who said in a statement to some media outlets, "As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have temporarily allowed some forms of political expression that would normally be a violation of our rules, such as violent rhetoric like Death to Russian Invaders, and we are still We do not tolerate serious calls for violence against Russian civilians."
For its part, the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern about Meta's decision to temporarily allow Facebook and Instagram not to ban users' calls for violence against Russians. "The situation is very complex and we have concerns about international human rights," Elizabeth Throssell, a spokeswoman for the United Nations, said in a press conference, stressing the need for the commission to discuss Meta's recent decisions.
The human rights foundation Skyline stresses that Meta's recent decision is a clear statement of violation of a large and fundamental set of rules enshrined in international law that criminalizes any practice that would promote hatred and violence in cyberspace. It also emphasizes that this decision represents a clear bias in favor of one particular party against another, reflecting an unwarranted duplicity and the adoption of a political position at the expense of the alleged and enforceable neutrality of the global enterprise.
Accrirdingly, Skyline highlights Article 20 of of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that "1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law. 2- Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.
Skyline concludes its statement by calling on the Meta company to reconsider its recent decisions as they pose a danger and violate international law. It emphasises that social media companies must be impartial and stop any discourse that incites violence or the spread of hate.