Social media platform Facebook has reportedly blocked a greetings message from a senior member of the Ukrainian armed forces.
The message from Lieutenant General Mykola Oleshchuk, Commander of Ukraine’s Air Force, was meant for the radio engineering forces, who were celebrating the Day of Radio-Technical Troops of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Wednesday.
The message was taken down by Facebook hours after it was posted. The social media platform said the greetings post had “violated community standards,” reported Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda.
Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat explained that the post garnered a large audience in just a few hours. More than 200 people had reposted the message and thousands had viewed it, the newspaper reported.
While the original post is still available on Telegram, a new message with a revised text has been shared on Facebook by the Air Force’s page. The phrase “effective disposal of Russian evil spirits in the air,” was changed to “the disposal of the enemy.” Similarly, “feral Russian world” was changed to “Ruzzia world.”
The Facebook page of the Ukrainian Air Force has more than 133,000 followers, while it has only about 28,000 followers on Telegram.
Less than a month after Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, said it will allow users in some countries to call for violence against Russian invaders.
“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders,'” the company said in a statement, Reuters reported.
It, however, clarified that “credible calls for violence” against Russian civilians would not be acceptable. Russian authorities reacted angrily to the announcement and called Meta’s processes “extremist.”
The policy changes introduced by Meta were applicable in countries like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine, Reuters reported.
It is unclear if such posts are still permitted.