Russia-Ukraine war: In the wake of Russia’s crackdown on tech platforms amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Twitter Inc and Meta Platform’s Facebook have removed posts from the Russian Embassy in the United Kingdom about the bombing of a children’s hospital in Mariupol for breaking its rules against denying violent events, the companies said on Thursday. Three people including a child were killed in Wednesday’s air strike on the maternity and children’s hospital in the Ukrainian city, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Thursday.
Twitter Inc. removed false tweets from the Russian embassy account in London as it claimed that the images from the bombing of a children’s and maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine, were fake. The now-removed tweets claimed the hospital was “used by armed forces and radicals” and that an injured, pregnant woman who had been photographed in the attack was an actor, according to screenshots published by The Guardian.
“We took enforcement action against the Tweets you referenced as they were in violation of the Twitter Rules, specifically our Hateful Conduct and Abusive Behavior policies related to the denial of violent events,” said a Twitter spokesperson.
Russia has shifted its stance over the hospital bombing, with a mix of statements on Thursday that veered between aggressive denials and a call by the Kremlin to establish clear facts, as per Reuters report.
Moscow has cracked down on tech platforms during the invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special operation,” including restricting Twitter and blocking Meta-owned Facebook. Twitter has also launched a privacy-protected version of its site, known as an “onion service”, which can be accessed through the dark web and could bypass such restrictions.
Twitter said it has taken steps to curb the spread of false information on the war in past weeks, such as pausing Tweet recommendations and advertisements in Ukraine and Russia. Twitter has been restricted in Russia in retaliation for blocking Russian state-owned media content on the service across the European Union.
(With inputs from agencies)