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Ukraine bans its top social networks because they are Russian (economist.com)
28 points by JumpCrisscross on May 19, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

Probably less that they're "Russian", than that they hand over all their data to the Russian government. VK was taken over, seemingly because of pressure to turn over Euromaidan protestor's names.

So do Facebook and Google to US gov. But I do agree that Brazil should follow this trend and shutdown Google and FB.

Which proves social networks are political assets

I'm not a fan of blocking things on the internet, but this seems like a good move for them. If your people aren't going to perform SecOps, then you need to.

I wonder how many Ukrainian fighters have posted videos or pictures on VK?

If you check ukrainian conflict subreddit or some of the Facebooks accounts of the volunteers you will find out that they were actively using VK to track their enemies (army and mercenaries from Russia) and to communicate with "sympathisers" from Russia.

Anyway - now they will post them on Facebook - what does it change? It is an open info regardless.

"If my people aren't going to support me, I'm going to make them support me."

And what metadata was included?

HNers will mass downvote and throw vitriol at anything that doesn't mean complete freedom of the internet all the time no matter what the cost. It's like a religious dogma to these guys, complete digital freedom no matter what the cost or consequence, practical considerations be damned. And like any fundamentalist religious dogma, those who question it are punished.

But for ordinary society, I think most people realize that having your enemy control your media is a terrible, terrible idea that will mean almost certain defeat in wartime.

Ukraine realizes that complete free internet all the time is not worth losing a war with Russia over, and I say power to them.

Reminds me of bellingcat's excellent work in tracking the MH17 missile launcher on social media, e.g. https://www.bellingcat.com/news/uk-and-europe/2017/04/04/pho...

Meanwhile Russia has banned LinkedIn, WeChat, LINE and plans to ban Telegram as well. At least Ukraine has a very good excuse.

Limiting access to information is always a bad decision. If someone wants to access banned resources, there is a way to do that with VPN.

It could be a problem if Russian government is getting all the data. A rising concern about Facebook in India remains the same.


For people wondering where this is coming from, this is the standard Russian propaganda/info/whatever in the area. Some people actually believe that Ukrainian nationalists glorify Nazis.

There are many parallels to the disinformation campaigns that happen on places like /r/the_donald.

Oh yeah, Poroshenko doesn't want to rid Ukraine of all Russians and Russian culture, yet he bans all Russian social media? You're the one spreading propaganda.

Note the claim shift from Nazi glorification.

Look, I have no skin in this game. I just know some Ukranians and some Russians, and they tell me the stuff they see on Facebook.

And it's the same story as in all sorts of other misinformation campaigns like anti-vaccination: people are out to get you, you had better watch out, be scared. Now that you're good and scared, here's a very helpful and emotional video/website to prove my point, that just happens to be highly tailored to your biases.

It's basic human tribalistic nature, and it's unfortunate. It happens in the US with rural vs. urban, coastal vs. central, etc. The US may share a language, but gets divided because people think those other people disparage and hate them. I've never run into a Ukranian that wanted to rid Ukraine of Russian culture, much less Russians. I know Ukranian-speaking Ukranians that are glad to be speaking Ukranian and wrapped up in a new national identity, with Cossacks and all that. I've met Ukranians that only speak Russian that tell me "today I found out that Americans are just like us."

I don't expect to be able to convince people over the internet, but I'm still going to try. We need to learn about people and what they really want, and not be influenced by the very biased view that the internet presents to us. So it's a bit ironic of me post this on the internet itself, or maybe even hypocritical, but please, do not rush to judgement on these serious matters. There's been enough death.

So, that's my propaganda, as an outsider.

To me, this just shows that Poroshenko does not represent Ukraine. It's yet another example of a failed attempt to label Russia as the baddies.

they're literally engaged in a war against russia, so can you blame them?

More like a war against themselves, it seems.

Donbass militias are moscow backed and funded.

More than half of Crimea was always ethnic Russian. If the people of Ukraine want to be part of Russia, let them.

It is not the case that everyone thinks Russia is some horrible, evil country.

Front lines aren't in Crimea. At least learn a little before making definitely statements

His people are using Russian mediums of communication. Banning them is like denying reality. Perhaps Poroshenko is engaged in a war against Russia, but clearly a lot of his people are not.

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