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Social media platforms on the defensive as Russian-based disinformation about Ukraine spreads | POLITICO

By Rebecca Kern, Mark Scott, and Clothilde Goujard
February 25, 2022

The world’s biggest social media companies are scrambling to combat a global barrage of Kremlin-backed falsehoods and digital tricks around the invasion of Ukraine — putting the tech giants back in the political crosshairs over the spread of online disinformation.

Russia-backed media reports falsely claiming that the Ukrainian government is conducting genocide of civilians ran unchecked and unchallenged on Twitter and on Facebook. Videos from the Russian government — including speeches from Vladimir Putin — on YouTube received dollars from Western advertisers. Unverified TikTok videos of alleged real-time battles were instead historical footage, including doctored conflict-zone images and sounds.

These debunked posts have been racking up millions of likes, comments and shares on Facebook and Twitter, according to CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool owned by Meta, and POLITICO’s separate review of TikTok and Google’s YouTube.

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Source: Social media platforms on the defensive as Russian-based disinformation about Ukraine spreads | POLITICO

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