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Facebook and Twitter are deleting posts with deceased Roman Ratushnyy's quote about the war with russia

15.06.2022, 14:44
Photo: NGO "Let's Save Protasiv Yar"
Photo: NGO "Let's Save Protasiv Yar"

Facebook and Twitter are deleting user posts containing a quote from activist Roman Ratushnyy, who was killed on the frontline: "The more russians we kill now, the fewer russians our children will have to kill."

Ihor Rozkladay, lawyer, deputy director of the Center for Democracy and the Rule of Law, and Independent Media Council member, wrote about this, MediaSapiens reports.

"Friends, I think I will get a strike from Facebook today for Roman Ratushnyy's quote. There is already a precedent. This case is very important, so do not waste energy looking for what is not there. The system is set up to perceive this as hate speech, and it will do so. I need screenshots of received strikes. By the way, Twitter has also banned this quote," Rozkladay wrote on Facebook.

In his comment to the publication, Ihor Rozkladay said that when he saw the quote, he immediately realized that it would become a problem.

"So far, there are few complaints. The first victim was Roman himself – Twitter deleted this post. Tamila Tasheva was the first on Facebook, her profile got a yellow triangle. Ragu.li and several of my friends were affected. I hope that Facebook will respond to this case properly, but it will take time, and, well, take the half-day time difference with California into account," said Ihor Rozkladay.

He says that he would consider this quote not as hate speech, but as defense speech, but it has to be explained to the system algorithmically, and this task is not easy.

"If you turn off the emotions and the pain about this wonderful person's death, the quote is a call to kill. Purely technically. The system sees the call – whether it receives a complaint or sees it itself – and blocks it. Because that's how it was programmed. The system cannot recognize emotions and context, it is far from artificial intelligence, like in movies where it can talk to you. This is a system that works on a number of examples. In particular, in the case of #Bucha and #Irpin hashtags there was the same problem, FB had to quickly teach the system that this is a legitimate exception. Fortunately, they dealt with it quickly," said the lawyer.

According to Ihor Rozkladay, this case becomes another example proving that social media cannot operate by peacetime rules.

"Meta has already implemented some things, for example, by separating the advertising for russia and Ukraine. But we are convinced that such rules must be more universal. And on one hand, they should not help the aggressor, even passively, and on the other hand, they should help the platforms not to deal with risks and responsibility and not to allow extremism. The only problem is that Europe and the US were not ready for such medieval barbarism in the 21st century. And, in fact, no one was ready to develop such rules preventively. But I see some positive developments and I hope we will come to see such rules implemented," he said.

As IMI reported, on June 9,  head of NGO "Let's Save Protasiv Yar" and a scout of the 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade "Kholodnyy Yar" Roman Ratushnyy was killed in a battle near Izyum (Kharkiv reion).

On July 5, Roman would have turned 25 years old. He took part in the Revolution of Dignity at the age of 16, was a public activist and head of NGO "Let's Save Protasiv Yar."

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