The Lawfare Podcast: How Tech Platforms are Navigating the War in Ukraine

By Jen Patja Howell
Thursday, March 10, 2022, 5:01 AM

As Russia’s brutal war in Ukraine continues, tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been key geopolitical players in the conflict. The Kremlin has banned those platforms and others as part of a sharp clampdown on freedoms within Russia. Meanwhile, these companies must decide what to do with state-funded Russian propaganda outlets like RT and Sputnik that have accounts on their platforms—and how best to moderate the flood of information, some of it gruesome or untrue, that’s appearing as users share material about the war.

This week on Arbiters of Truth, our podcast series on the online information ecosystem, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Alex Stamos, director of the Stanford Internet Observatory. They discussed how various platforms, from Twitter to TikTok and Telegram, are moderating the content coming out of Russia and Ukraine right now; the costs and benefits of Western companies pulling operations out of Russia during a period of increasing crackdown; and how the events of the last few weeks might shape our thinking about the nature and power of information operations.