Advertisers within Russia can no longer create or run ads on Facebook “anywhere in the world,” including their home country, the social network told Business Insider. The website has also suspended all ads targeting people in Russia, “due to the difficulties of operating in [the country] at this time.”
This is just the latest step Facebook has taken following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Shortly after the attacks started, it blocked Russian state media from running ads on its platform before restricting access to RT and Sputnik in Ukraine and across the European Union. A few days after that, Facebook started demoting the outlets’ pages and any post linking to them on its main website and on Instagram.
As a response to the social network restricting access to state-run media, Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor blocked Facebook in the country, though Instagram and WhatsApp remain available. The agency throttled access to the website before that when Facebook officials refused to stop fact-checking state media outlets upon its request. In a statement issued after Roskomnadzor blocked Facebook completely, Meta’s president of global affairs Nick Clegg said the company “will continue to do everything [it] can to restore [its] services so they remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action.”
According to a report by independent Russian news agency Interfax, Russia also recently blocked Twitter in the country. Roskomnadzor previously limited the country’s access to Twitter, as well, after the social network paused ads and recommendations and started labeling tweets from Russian state media outlets. The social network said, however, that it’s only seeing the effects of throttling within the region and not of an outright ban.