Posted on February 25, 2022

Facebook Is Reversing Its Ban on Posts Praising Ukraine’s Far-Right Azov Battalion

Urooba Jamal, Insider, February 25, 2022

Facebook is backtracking on a ban it placed on users praising the Azov Battalion, a far-right paramilitary force within the Ukrainian National Guard.


Praise for the group, which is the armed wing of the country’s white nationalist Azov movement, was banned in 2019 under Facebook’s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy. The platform had classified the group alongside others such as the Ku Klux Klan and Islamic State.


The memos seen by The Intercept, however, also acknowledge the group’s ideology, and listed the following post as an example of unacceptable content, according to the outlet: “Well done Azov for protecting Ukraine and it’s white nationalist heritage.”

The battalion itself will still be banned from using Facebook to publish posts or recruit members, while images of its uniform and banners will still be banned as hate symbols.

“For the time being, we are making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard,” a spokesperson from Facebook’s parent company, Meta, told Insider.

“But we are continuing to ban all hate speech, hate symbolism, praise of violence, generic praise,  support, or representation of the Azov Regiment, and any other content that violates our community standards,” it added.


The policy shift has also been set in place to ensure that news coverage of the conflict can continue to be shared on the platform, the spokesperson said.