Russia moves to ban Instagram and designates Meta an ‘extremist organisation’
Meta recently changed its hate speech policy to allow for posts calling for violence against the Russian military. That’s a sentence I never expected to have to include in one of these newsletters. But it speaks to the strategy of information control that Russia is attempting around the war – and to Meta’s outsized influence on the discussion.
Meanwhile Twitter is joining the BBC in making sure people can access news on the dark web by launching its own Tor service. After Russia blocked Twitter earlier this month, this service means that Russian users should be able to use the Tor anonymity network to reach the site. It’s an excellent idea and hopefully one that will make a difference.
And just while we’re talking about Russian disinformation – you might note that the top link is to an Independent page. Well, as was pointed out yesterday, some article pages across the Independent and Evening Standard websites have been swiftly taken down. By complete coincidence I’m sure those stories were about MI6 warning Boris Johnson about Evgeny Lebedev links to Putin – the same Evgeny Lebedev who is the owner of the Independent and Evening Standard.
Congratulations, you’ve been platformed
Decent take here on Substack’s new app from Ernie Smith. Effectively he argues that Substack’s endgame as always been to throw up a wall around email which “no matter the justification, changes the rules around the pledge the company made to its customers”. Lots and lots to say about the role of newsletters – keep an eye out for our new Conversations episode on exactly this this week.
Conde Nast, Hearst join growing list of media companies halting Russian operations
The two memos in this piece are worth reading, as on the face of it these two companies seem to be nailing their colours to the mast on the immorality of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But you do have to think – what will the re-entry strategy of media companies ultimately look like?
BBC all-white on the night
The BBC has a remit to provide accurate and impartial news to the British public. And yet as three senior black staff quit, figures reveal a lack of African and Caribbean representation in off-screen roles. How can you be impartial if you’re not representative?
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