Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp parent company Meta has pledged $15 million to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and neighbouring countries amid the Russian invasion. Also Read - No, WhatsApp will not let you leave groups silently
The social network has established a special operations centre staffed by experts from across the company, including native Russian and Ukrainian speakers, who are monitoring the platform around the clock. Also Read - Meta Store opens doors to customers: All you need to know
This includes $5 million in direct donations to United Nations agencies and more than a dozen nonprofits, including International Medical Corps that will be using these funds to deploy mobile medical units to Ukraine and Internews to support at-risk journalists and human rights defenders in the region. Also Read - WhatsApp will soon let you set your old messages to disappear at once
“We’re also donating to UNICEF to scale up lifesaving support for children and families in Ukraine and the region. The remaining $10 million will be provided as ad credits, helping nonprofit organisations raise the funds they need to respond and deliver essential information to people impacted by the violence,” Meta said in a statement late on Thursday.
“We’ve added several safety features in Ukraine and Russia, including the ability for people to lock their Facebook profile, removing the ability to view and search friends lists, and additional tools on Messenger,” said Meta.
Meta has also expanded a ban on Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik on Facebook and Instagram globally to stop the flow of misinformation as Russian forces make deeper inroads into Ukraine.
In addition to restricting access to RT and Sputnik across the European Union, the company announced to “globally demote content from Facebook Pages and Instagram accounts from Russian state-controlled media outlets and make them harder to find across our platforms”.