Learning Ukrainian, Building a Sanctions Tracker, Biolab Conspiracy Theories, More: Ukraine Update, March 16, 2022


MakeUseOf: Why Mozilla Has Removed Russian Search Engines From Firefox. “Mozilla has decided to remove all Russian search engine providers from its Firefox browser. The move comes after multiple claims that Yandex and have been favoring Russian state-sponsored content in the results. Here, we’ll take a look at when Mozilla is removing these search engines, and why the company is removing them.”

Axios: Slack has started disconnecting customers in Russia. “Slack has begun cutting off access to some customers in Russia as it looks to comply with both international sanctions and the policies of parent company Salesforce. Why it matters: Slack is the lifeblood for internal communications at many businesses and organizations and often contains data and messages not stored in any other format.”

Mashable: Duolingo reports a 485% increase of people studying Ukrainian. “Use of the language learning app Duolingo has surged since the start of the war in Ukraine. According to a statement on Monday from CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn, Duolingo has seen a 485 percent increase in the number of users learning Ukrainian. The increase, which was reported in Morning Brew on Wednesday, is global, but is mostly coming from the U.S., the location of the majority of its users.”


Online Journalism Blog: How CORRECTIV launched a live sanctions tracker in under a week. “German investigative non-profit CORRECTIV launched its sanctions tracker less than a week after the invasion of Ukraine. In an interview with OJB, Olaya Argüeso Perez talks about the background to the project, how it’s been used — and what they’ve learned since.”

TechTarget: AI and disinformation in the Russia-Ukraine war. “Opening her Facebook account on March 10, one of the first things Aleksandra Przegalinska saw on her newsfeed was a post from a Russian troll spreading disinformation and praising Russian President Vladimir Putin. The post claimed Putin was doing a good job in the Russia-Ukraine war. As someone following the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the AI expert and Polish university administrator was taken back by what she believed to be an inaccurate post.”

Washington Post: Apple and Google app stores remain available in Russia. That may be a good thing.. “Ukraine’s digital officials and some tech-savvy expatriates in the United States have been calling for Apple and Google to cut Russia off from their app stores and for security company Cloudflare to stop protecting Pravda and Russian war propaganda sites from state-backed and activist hackers. But civil liberties groups and American officials are pushing the other way, arguing that the three California companies provide ordinary Russians with the means to find independent news sources and to connect to activists and nonprofit organizations opposed to the war in Ukraine.”

Media Matters: Facebook and Instagram have allowed and profited from advertising pushing the false Ukraine-US biolabs conspiracy theory . “Meta has repeatedly allowed — and profited from — ads pushing a false conspiracy theory about biolabs in Ukraine which has been linked to both Russian propaganda and supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory. The ads, which have run on Facebook and Instagram, both owned by Meta, violate the platforms’ misinformation rules.”

CNN: Why Ukraine war misinformation is so hard to police. “In some ways, it’s the latest in a long list of recent crises — from the pandemic to the Capitol riot — that have spurred the spread of potentially harmful misinformation. But misinformation experts say there are key differences between the war in Ukraine and other misinformation events that make false claims about the conflict especially insidious and difficult to counter.”


Reuters: Think tank calls for EU database to help trace oligarchs’ assets. “The European Union should create an asset database to help to track down the owners of assets held by shell companies and make EU sanctions against Russian oligarchs more effective, a think tank said on Wednesday. The 27-nation EU has imposed restrictions on 877 individuals, including wealthy Russian oligarchs and other prominent business people, over Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”


The Conversation: Ukraine: how social media images from the ground could be affecting our response to the war. “At present, we are witnessing an unprecedented pan-European humanitarian effort spearheaded by citizens who are generously offering shelter and aid to Ukrainians. Back in 2015, there were heated debates among EU governments concerning the level of support that they could offer, and European politicians often struggled to gain approval from their citizens to welcome Syrians. There are of course substantial historical and geopolitical factors that probably contribute to these differing responses. But one other likely influence relates to the way in which this war is being visually communicated in western media – from newspapers and television broadcasts to Twitter, Instagram and TikTok – and the emotional responses these images elicit.”

Wall Street Journal: TikTok’s Pullback in Russia Leaves More Space for Pro-Kremlin Propaganda. “TikTok is censoring its content in Russia more heavily than it said it would, blocking access to most overseas accounts and leaving a content vacuum that is being partially filled by state media propaganda, researchers and users in the country say.”


CBS 4 Miami: Shortwave Radio Signal From Florida Cow Pasture Reaches Russia Carrying Latest News. “A massive shortwave radio antenna sits in a cow pasture north of Lake Okeechobee in Central Florida…. WRMI stands for Radio Miami International and worldwide coverage means it can easily send signals into Ukraine and Russia. Shortwave is old school technology, think of World War II or the Cold War, as American-produced news beamed behind the iron curtain. Now, during the invasion of Ukraine, Russia has shut down journalism as we know it.”

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: News

Tagged as: , ,

Leave a Reply