Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Meta, said that social media is a threat to dictators, and that is why Russian President Vladimir Putin has blocked access to Facebook in Russia.
“Social media is bad for dictators, that’s why Putin took us down,” Sandberg said during an interview with an American media outlet.
While talking about steps by the tech giant, Sandberg said Meta and its subsidiaries had taken steps to fight misinformation being spread on its platform since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia war.
Earlier, in response to the de-monetization of Russian state-run media by various companies like Meta and Google, Russia’s tech and communication regulator, Roskomnadzor, had restricted access to Facebook and Twitter.
Sandberg also said that one of the reasons Russia blocked Facebook was because the platform refused to stop labelling posts from state media with fact-checks. Russian misinformation on Facebook has been a sensitive issue for Meta.
“If you think about what’s happening if you think about before social media in a country like Russia, you know the media was completely controlled by one voice. That is what social media changes,” Sandberg said.
“The scariest part of all of this is the lack of access,” she added. “When we go down in Russia people are losing their ability to understand what’s happening.”