Social media apps including Facebook, Twitter and TikTok have long been pilloried for allowing the spread of blatant misinformation aimed at subverting democracy. In recent days, however, these apps have been used to great effect in an information war benefiting Ukraine in its fight to protect its democracy. Ukrainian officials and citizens, as well as millions of other users, harnessed the apps to turn countless governments and citizens against Russia’s invasion.
Over the past two days, the companies have stepped up punitive action against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime, including blocking Russian state TV networks and other efforts by Russia to influence internet users’ view of the conflict. Some of the companies’ actions came after EU officials banned RT and Sputnik, two Russian state TV networks, from broadcasting in the bloc, among other sanctions. That gave the companies—many of which operate small to moderate-size businesses in Russia and have employees there—the cover to follow suit.
But tech and media companies including Apple, Microsoft and Netflix have taken additional steps to halt product sales, thwart Russian actors or are refusing to obey a local Russian law. Below is a list of the actions 15 major tech and media companies have taken so far, from Meta Platforms to Google to DirecTV.
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- Come Back Alive is one of the largest charitable foundations that supports Ukrainian soldiers, founded by the IT specialist Vitaliy Deynega. The organization collected more than 210 million UAH (more than $7M) in 2014. According to Na chasi, the Patreon page Come Back Alive is in the top ten projects by the number of financial donations.
- Army SOS, which develops drones;
- Everybody Can, an organization that supports internally displaced people;
- Help on the Ministry of Defense website.