Facebook pulls all ads in Russia and blocks all Russian advertisers globally

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Facebook pulls all ads in Russia and blocks all Russian advertisers globally
A specialist of IT company Infopulse is seen in his office in Kyiv, Ukraine.REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
  • Facebook made yet another move against Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
  • The company is halting all ads in the country, and refusing to run any ads from Russian marketers.
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Facebook took another swipe at Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine by pulling all of advertising from the country and refusing to run ads anywhere in the world from Russian marketers.

"Due to the difficulties of operating in Russia at this time, ads targeting people in Russia will be paused, and advertisers within Russia will no longer be able to create or run ads anywhere in the world, including within Russia," the company said Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Russia's tech and communications regulator Roskomnadzor said it officially blocked Facebook, after throttling access to the site for about a week.

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While Facebook said it is working to keep its services available "to the greatest extent possible," the company did not provide an update late Friday on where that effort stood.

The advertising move is expected to have little impact on the finances of the company, now called Meta Platforms. Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, recently estimated that if "the US tech world pulled the plug on Russia it would have a 1%-2% revenue impact in a worst case scenario." He added that Wall Street would "gladly applaud" such an industrywide move.

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Still, Facebook's decision is an escalation of the tech industry's reaction to the invasion of Ukraine, now it its second week. Nick Clegg, Facebook's president of global affairs, said early last week that the company had refused a demand by Russia's Roskomnadzor to halt its fact-checking of state-run media posts covering the invasion. That led to the throttling of access to the site in the country. Then Facebook blocked access in Europe to Russian-run news sites RT and Sputnik. This week, that expanded to a global block of access to all state-run media through Facebook and Instagram.

Twitter has also been blocked in Russia, according to local reports, but the company has said it is still only seeing the effects of throttling in the region. Roskomnadzor has not said that platform is blocked. It has however complained about YouTube, leading Google to halt all ads in the country. Roskomnadzor has also complained of new efforts by TikTok to label state-run media, saying the China-owned site has removed content from such Russian news organizations.

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