Big tech’s reaction to the invasion of Ukraine

As the invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces continues, many countries have imposed economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia. But, unlike wars of the past, big tech now has an almost equally powerful role to play in putting pressure on Putin to withdraw and end this violent action.

The EU has targeted Russian state-owned broadcasters RT and Sputnik by preventing them from being received across Europe and several tech firms including Google and Twitter, have added their weight by banning them from monetising content or blocking their content in the EU.

Google has responded by suspending all advertising in Russia and disabling live Google Maps features in Ukraine to protect civilians on the ground. They have blocked RT and Sputnik YouTube channels across Europe - including the UK - however, in Russia, Google said most of its services would remain available to help citizens access global media perspectives.

Microsoft has been helping the Ukrainian government by detecting and advising on cyber threats and has suspended all sales in Russia. Rival Apple has also stopped selling products in Russia and has turned off Apple Pay and other services to the region.

Meta announced it has set up a response team to counter potential threats and disinformation on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram and has rolled out account privacy and security protections for users in Ukraine. It has also pledged $15 million for humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

Twitter had already banned RT and Sputnik from running advertisements following allegations over Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election but has now temporarily paused all advertisements in Ukraine and Russia. The tech giant said it was also actively monitoring risks to the Ukraine, including false information.

Netflix and TikTok are the latest big tech firms to respond to the crisis with Netflix suspending all content in Russia and halting all Russian productions and content acquisitions. TikTok has reduced Russian users to spectators by suspending all livestreaming and new video content uploads. They have also banned RT and Sputnik in the EU.

Other helpful reactions from Big Tech included SpaceX activating its Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine and sending ground terminals to aid communication, Amazon offering its logistics services to help deliver needed supplies and cybersecurity support and AirBnb working with hosts to help house up to 100,000 Ukrainians and waiving all booking fees in the country.

Want to help? Continue to support Ukrainian companies! NerdApp is proud to outsource elements of our App Development to a company based in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

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