Baltics, Poland turn to social media networks over Russian disinformation

  • 2022-02-28
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Baltic and Polish prime ministers have turned to social media companies over Russia's disinformation amid Russia's ongoing attack on Ukraine.

The four prime ministers sent a joint letter to Meta, Twitter, Google and YouTube, paying their attention to the justification of Russia's military action, the spread of lies and intentional confusion about the real events in Ukraine via the aggressor's information channels, the Lithuanian government said.

In their joint letter, the four heads of government are calling on the tech giants to pro-actively suspend accounts engaged in denying, glorifying or justifying wars of

aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity; to suspend the official accounts of Russian and Belarusian government institutions, state-controlled media as well as personal accounts of these countries’ leadership and their close associates, that consistently disseminate disinformation about situation in Ukraine; to engage with local fact-checking initiatives to find volunteers who could help to reinforce content monitoring, especially in Russian and Ukrainian languages, to quickly address

inauthentic behavior, illegal content and disinformation; to immediately take measures, including adjusting your search and recommendation algorithms, to help users find trustworthy information on the war in Ukraine and to inform users exposed to disinformation.

The Baltic and Polish leaders also offered their specialists' assistance to identify channels spreading fake news.

"We urged them to pay attention to that and for fake news to be removed and the algorithms to be improved accordingly," Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte told reporters.

The letter also pays attention to the fact that Russia and Belarus are restricting access to social media, and urges the tech giants to resist the pressure from the Russian and Belarusian government to censor or restrict access to accounts of independent media and active civil society on their platforms, and to also fully and immediately demonetize all accounts - purveyors of disinformation controlled by the Russian and Belarusian governments.

In response to Russia's invasion in Ukraine, Lithuanian news websites turned of comment sections under current affairs articles to prevent the spread of possible disinformation.