Facebook lets Ukrainians lock their pages amid Russia ‘kill list’ fears
US has warned that Moscow has lists of Ukrainians ‘to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation’; tech giant deployed tool when Afghanistan fell to Taliban
WASHINGTON — People in Ukraine can lock down their Facebook pages as a security measure, the platform said Thursday, following warnings Russia was creating lists of Ukranians to kill after its invasion.
Users are able to block people they don’t know from downloading and sharing their profile photo or seeing their posts, a tool the company also deployed after Afghanistan fell to the Taliban last year.
The announcement comes after the United States warned the United Nations this week of “credible information that indicates Russian forces are creating lists of identified Ukrainians to be killed or sent to camps following a military occupation.”
Invading Russian forces moved in Wednesday and were pressing deep into Ukraine, claiming dozens of lives and raising the prospect Moscow will march on Kyiv as the West imposed punishing sanctions in response.
Facebook said it has a team monitoring the situation, and has rolled out the account-locking feature in response.
“This is a one-click tool for people in Ukraine to lock down their account,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, tweeted.
The company was fiercely criticized during a recent whistleblower scandal, in which the social media giant was accused of putting growth over the safety of the billions of users on its platforms.
Facebook’s parent Meta has moved to pivot to its metaverse vision for the internet, but worries over the firm’s future prospects have led to a historic drop in its value.