Facebook has taken another step against Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine by temporarily stopping ads targeting people in the country and refusing ads anywhere in the world from Russian marketers.
The company said: “Ads targeting people in Russia are temporarily stopped due to difficulties operating in Russia at this time.” Advertisers within Russia will not be able to create or run ads anywhere in the world, including within Russia.
The moves represent a significant escalation in its actions against the country and could help prevent Russian misinformation related to the invasion of Ukraine from appearing in Facebook ads.
The Russian technology and communications organization Roskomnadzor has officially banned Facebook, after throttling access to the site for about a week.
This has prevented many Russians from posting on social media amid the crisis. As a result of the Russian government’s decision to block access to Facebook in the Russian Federation, millions of the Russian public will soon find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of communicating with family and friends and silenced from speaking out.
She explained that she is working to keep her services available to the maximum extent possible. But it did not provide an update on where those efforts were.
The advertising move is expected to have little impact on the finances of the company, which is now called Meta Platforms.
Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said recently: If the US tech world pulls its power from Russia, the impact on revenue will be only 1 or 2 percent in the worst-case scenario. He added that Wall Street would applaud such an industry-wide move.
However, Facebook’s decision is an escalation of the tech industry’s response to the invasion of Ukraine, which is now in its second week. The social media giant’s decision on the ads follows similar steps from Google, Twitter, and Snapchat, which have temporarily suspended all ads in Russia.
Facebook pulls all ads in Russia
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s head of global affairs, said earlier last week that the company had rejected Russia’s Roskomnadzor’s request to stop its fact-checking of state-run media publications covering the invasion.
This has stifled access to the site in the country. The company has banned access to the Russian news sites Russia Today RT and Sputnik in Europe.
This effort expanded this week to include a worldwide ban on access to all state-run media via Facebook and Instagram.
Twitter has also been blocked in Russia, according to local reports. But the company said it was still seeing the effects of suffocation in the area and not a complete ban. Russia’s Roskomnadzor did not say the platform was banned.
The Russian Technology and Communications Organization complained about YouTube, prompting Google to stop all ads in the country.
Russia’s Roskomnadzor also complained about TikTok’s new effort to label state-run media, saying the China-owned site had removed content from such Russian news organizations.