Twitter: As Russian troops and tanks began moving into Ukraine in the early hours of Thursday, several Twitter accounts in that country were sharing images and videos of helicopter attacks and moving tank divisions. to the border, were blocked and had their contents deleted.
The interruption in communication between Ukraine and the world, caused by the microblog service, occurs at an inopportune moment, when what is most needed are reliable sources of information. This primary material, taken from social networks, is being shared by researchers through systems known as OSINT, an acronym for open source intelligence, for knowledge of the whole world.
The blocks to OSINT organizations began on Tuesday night (22), when researcher Kyle Glen had his account blocked for 12 hours, according to later tweets by himself and another OSINT organization. Even the Brazilian account Notícias de Guerra was blocked by the social network last night (23), on the grounds of “violation of Twitter rules”.
What does Twitter say?
In a press release, Twitter spokeswoman Elizabeth Busby claimed that these suspensions and cuts were made in error, and were not part of any type of campaign proposed by the company. “We are rapidly reviewing these actions and have already proactively re-established access to several affected accounts,” she concluded.
Asked by The Verge which content policy had been violated by the blocked accounts, Busby pointed to Twitter’s “synthetic and manipulated media policy”, which primarily deals with bots and fake news. However, the information did not clarify why the content released by OSINT organizations could be considered something that could “result in widespread confusion on public issues”, as quoted in Twitter’s terms.
During the night, the social network unblocked the affected profiles, according to an official statement from Twitter Safety. Still, Ukraine’s supporters are voicing their concerns that this removal of content from Twitter could, in some way, help Russian military objectives in the region.