By Elizabeth Culliford and Sheila Dang
(Reuters) – Meta Platforms is globally demoting content from Russian state-controlled media outlets’ Facebook pages and Instagram accounts, as well as posts containing links to those outlets on Facebook, the company’s head of global affairs said on Tuesday.
Tech and social media companies have faced pressure to respond to last Thursday’s invasion of Ukraine by Russia, which has led to economic sanctions against Moscow by governments around the world.
Meta’s Nick Clegg told reporters during a conference call that the company had seen a “definitely discernable” degradation of its services in Russia since authorities there announced they would restrict Meta’s platforms. Video and other multimedia content had particularly been affected, Clegg said.
Meta had been in “protracted discussions” with Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor over its new law that requires some foreign internet companies to open offices in Russia, Clegg added. He called some of the provisions under the new law “disproportionate.”
Meta, along with Twitter and Alphabet’s Google, face possible punitive measures in Russia because they have not yet complied.
On Monday, Meta said it would restrict access to Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik on its platforms across the European Union.
Clegg said the company had also received requests from governments outside of the European Union to block Russian state media. He said he was not aware of such a request from the United States government.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford and Sheila Dang; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool)