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How Social Media Platforms Handle User War Content

(NewsNation Now) – Ukrainians are using social media to reach people around the world, showing the devastation in their war-torn country. From missiles hitting buildings to people fleeing their homes, powerful images online are gaining millions of views on platforms such as TikTok and Twitter.

It certainly highlights the power of platforms and has rallied citizens around the world to reach out to their governments to provide aid and influence change in the war-torn region.

The content, in many cases, is more personal than the images of journalists’ reports.

The messages create an intimate perspective, taking viewers to the heart of the war.

“You basically see a global coalition around the Ukrainian cause and against the Russian invasion,” said Jason Steinhauer, author of “History, Disrupted.”

The response has put additional pressure on governments to act.

“Today, in fact, literally today, the United Nations voted in terms of condemning what Russia is doing in numbers we’ve never seen before. And some of that was in direct contrast to the words of the Russian Ambassador, who was saying we’re not invading. You know, he was literally saying things that everyone in the world can see with their own eyes when they have a TikTok account, a Facebook account, any type of social network,” said Andrij Dobriansky, communications director of the Ukrainian Congress of America Committee.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is also forcing big tech companies to decide how to deal with state-controlled media outlets that now spread propaganda and disinformation.

“From a technology perspective, it’s difficult to have accurate classifiers that can continue to be updated as bad actors find new tactics,” said Katie Harbath, director of Tech & Democracy at the ‘International Republican Institute.

None of the US-owned tech companies have responded with an outright ban on Russian-sponsored content. Instead, they proposed more modest changes by limiting the Kremlin’s reach, labeling more content and banning Russian state media from making money from ads.

“They’re both trying to stand up to the country, but also not to go so far that Putin just stops them from being available,” Harbath added.

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