PMs of Poland, Baltics call on Tech heads to block Russian lies
The prime ministers of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have sent an open letter to the heads of the world's biggest social media companies calling on them to block the official accounts of Russian and Belarusian government institutions.
The letter, addressed to Mark Zuckerberg (Meta, formerly Facebook), Susan Wojcicki (YouTube), Sundar Pichai (Google) and Parag Agrawal (Twitter), came in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"We address you amid Russia's war of aggression in Ukraine," said the letter, which was signed by Mateusz Morawiecki of Poland, Ingrida Simonyte of Lithuania, Krisjanis Karins of Latvia and Kaja Kallas of Estonia.
"This was preceded by a lengthy and well documented disinformation campaign aiming to create fertile ground for a Russian invasion and its false justification and rationalisation both in the international community and within the Russian domestic population."
"The Russian government seeks to spread lies, confusion and doubt about what is happening, and to undermine the morale and unity of the democratic world," the letter continued.
It went on to accuse the Russian government of a "massive disinformation campaign" in an attempt to justify the war and hide alleged crimes.
The letter called on the CEOs to do more to stop the spread of "lies".
One step, the authors wrote, would be to suspend "the official accounts of Russian and Belarusian state institutions, the state-controlled media, as well as the personal profiles of their leaders and their close associates, which have consistently spread disinformation about Ukraine."
Another proposed step would be to suspend all accounts praising, justifying or denying the aggressive nature of Russia's war and the crimes committed by Russian forces.
The prime ministers also proposed that internet companies join the steps already announced by the EU and introduced in some countries against propaganda from Russian media channels, such as RT or Sputnik.
Online platforms cannot be used to allow these stations to circumvent state-imposed restrictions, they warn.