US Congressmen Urge Meta to Resist 'Pro-Russian' Ads Run by Chinese Media - Letter

© REUTERS / DADO RUVICFILE PHOTO: Meta logo is placed on a Russian flag in this illustration taken February 26, 2022.
FILE PHOTO: Meta logo is placed on a Russian flag in this illustration taken February 26, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.03.2022
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A group of six US lawmakers has urged Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a letter to take a tougher stand on China's state media in connection with the latter allegedly promoting a pro-Russian stance on the Ukraine crisis.

"Dear Mr. Zuckerberg, We write to you with deep concern regarding advertisements run by Chinese-based organizations and broadcasters amplifying pro-Russian talking points about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine proliferating on Facebook," the letter, published by Rep. Young Kim, said.

As an example, the appeal cites Chinese publications spreading "false reports" on Facebook that Russia's objective in Ukraine is American biological laboratories.

"This is emblematic of a larger push by Chinese Communist Party-directed propaganda operations to influence global dialogue and policy on Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and must be met with a strong, coordinated public-private response," the letter said.

The lawmakers urged the company to answer their questions by March 31. They hope to find out what steps Meta is taking to prevent the spread of Russian "disinformation" through non-Russian accounts, and whether the company will expand its measures that ban state media from buying ads worldwide. The lawmakers also want to know how much Chinese broadcasters have spent on advertising and whom it is targeting.

On February 24, Russia launched an operation in Ukraine after the breakaway Donbas republics appealed for help in defending themselves against Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the special operation is targeting Ukrainian military infrastructure only. Several days into the operation, the Russian armed forces said the Ukrainian military were using typical terrorist methods, such as hiding behind civilians and civilian quarters.
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