The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy has said that Facebook (FB) has removed pages and groups linked with the Georgian-based pro-Russian media outlet Alt-Info on the backdrop of Russia’s ongoing aggression against Ukraine.
As per the sources, the non-governmental organisation stated it had provided “most relevant data” on the pages to Facebook as part of its work to “resist Russian propaganda and manipulation of the war”.
Moreover, on Saturday, the website of Alt-Info – known for offering pro-Russian perspectives and narratives on political, security and geopolitical topics – was offline. The founder of Alt-Info, Konstantine Morgoshia, said the outage was related to “maintenance work” on the website.
Along with providing political commentary, Alt-Info has organised conservative protests in Georgia, including an anti-LGBTQ event in Tbilisi on July 5, 2021, during which right-wing extremists assaulted and injured dozens of journalists.
Besides that, Facebook has previously removed information associated with conservative-leaning causes in Georgia. In 2020, around 50 accounts, 49 pages, four groups, eight events and 19 Instagram accounts associated with Alt-Info were removed due to what the social media firm calls “coordinated unauthorised behaviour”.
Furthermore, in April 2021, the Georgian National Communications Commission fined the right-wing media outlet 2,500 GEL for obscenity and circulation of material inappropriate for children.
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has announced steps to ban access to Russian state media sites RT and Sputnik across the European Union.
On Monday afternoon, Meta’s global affairs director, Nick Clegg, tweeted that the social media company has received demands “from a number of Governments and the EU to take more steps in relation to Russian state-controlled media.” In addition, Clegg also stated Meta would continue to work closely with governments on the issue.
“Given the unprecedented nature of the current situation,” Clegg stated on Twitter, “we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time,” without going into further detail about what the limitations would entail.
We have received requests from a number of Governments and the EU to take further steps in relation to Russian state controlled media. Given the exceptional nature of the current situation, we will be restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the EU at this time.
— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) February 28, 2022