Meta Platforms is celebrating success in reducing the reach of Russian-state war propaganda on social media.
- Meta announced in a Thursday press release that disinformation—through state media such as Sputnik and TSS—has decreased.
- The social-media network has intervened to demote Russian propaganda.
- Online disinformation tracker Graphika confirmed these reports, saying the volume of posts decreased 43% while engagement dropped 80%, Forbes notes.
Why It’s Important
Today, February 24, 2023, marks the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, sparking the most significant European land war since World War II ended nearly 78 years ago.
With that, Russia’s disinformation and propaganda efforts escalated, with state-affiliated media spreading false information across the internet to discourage Western retaliation and build support for the war. Russian accounts reportedly continue to spam low-quality, high-volume content.
Ukrainian forces under the leadership of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have successfully repelled multiple advances into the country and are currently facing renewed offensives in the eastern regions of the nation.
Zelenskyy’s leadership has benefitted from Western intervention, with billions of dollars worth of private donations, funding, and gear provided by the U.S. military, and relief support from corporations such as SpaceX.
Russia’s invasion created an international crisis that has weakened international supply chains, heightened nuclear tensions, created a refugee crisis, and killed hundreds of thousands of people. As both sides of the war continue to reinforce their militaries and prepare for new advances and counterattacks, it remains unlikely that the war will end soon.
“These campaigns resemble smash and grab operations that use thousands of fake accounts across social media, not just our platforms, in an attempt to overwhelm the conversation with their content. This covert activity is aggressive and it’s persistent, obviously probing for weak spots across the internet, including setting up hundreds of new spoof news organization domains,” Meta president Nick Clegg tells Forbes.
“We’ve caught and exposed more of their influence operations than any other threat actor in the world. As a result, we’ve seen them shift some of their efforts away from our platform,” says Meta head of security Nathaniel Gleicher.