By Sheila Dang
(Reuters) –Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc has set up a special operations center to monitor the conflict in Ukraine, and it launched a feature so users in the country can lock their social media profiles for security, a company official said in Twitter posts on Thursday.
Twitter Inc on Wednesday posted tips on how users can secure their accounts against hacking, make sure their tweets are private and deactivate their accounts. The company tweeted the safety tips in English, Russian and Ukrainian.
Both social media platforms are often used by political activists and researchers to disseminate information during times of crisis. The Russian invasion of Ukraine on Thursday also raised concerns about the spread of disinformation about the conflict on social media.
With one click, users in Ukraine can lock their profile to prevent users who are not their friends from downloading or sharing their profile picture, or seeing posts on their timeline, Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said on Twitter.
On Wednesday, Twitter also shared information on how users can deactivate their account.
As the conflict in Ukraine escalated on Thursday, social media users took to platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter to post videos of evacuation lines, helicopters in the sky and anti-war protests in Russia.
On short-form video app TikTok, the hashtags “Russia” and “Ukraine” had 37.2 billion and 8.5 billion views, respectively.
(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, Calif., Sheila Dang in Dallas and Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Editing by Mark Porter and Cynthia Osterman)