Hashtags related to civilian deaths in northern Ukraine will no longer feature on Facebook and Instagram according to Meta Platforms, the owner of two social media platforms. While Meta Platforms has justified reasons for the action, humanitarian organizations are criticizing the deletion of data.
• Meta Platforms removes violent Ukraine war content from Facebook and Instagram
• Automated systems are activated to block hashtags related to civilian killings
• Facebook and Instagram allow the publication of violent content only to raise awareness but explicit images are deleted
• Meta Platforms stores data only for 90 days but it is looking for ways to preserve the important data
Why Are Hashtags Related To Northern Ukraine Civilian Killings Blocked?
Bodies of civilians shot at close range were discovered in a town seized back from Russian forces. The city is Bucha and the images are titled killings in Bucha. The images are so disturbing that the people have started demanding further sanctions against Moscow. But Russia has clearly denied any accusations of killing the civilian population in Ukraine.
Giving the reason for removal, Meta spokesman Ando Stone wrote on Twitter that the company initiated the process of deleting disturbing images after it came to know about the hashtags #bucha and #buchamassacre.
Ando Stone said that Meta Platforms allow the publication of images on its social media sites only for raising public awareness. But the images found disturbing are removed automatically from the platforms. The company owns automated scanning systems that scan Facebook and Instagram for violent images and remove the images that celebrate suffering.
Meta Platforms has also added warning levels to explicit graphic posts containing violent content. The viewers must click through before consuming the content.
Why Are Human Rights Group Criticizing Meta Platforms?
Meta Platforms has a policy of purging data after 90 days. But human rights groups say that it results in the deletion of crucial data related to war crimes. Ando Stone replied to the accusation by saying that the company was exploring options to preserve the sensitive data related to the Ukrainian war before deleting it.