Condensed report of the CEDEM’s research conducted by The Fix
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has extended beyond the physical battleground, extending into the realm of information warfare, including on social media platforms. Referred to as the “first TikTok war” by international media, this is the first war in which social media is present at such a scale.
Social media is a critical information source for Ukrainians. A 2023 OPORA survey found that 77.9% rely on social media for their news consumption. Specifically, 71.3% obtain news from Telegram, 66.2% from YouTube, 55% from Facebook, and 29.5% from Instagram.
However, access to news related to the full-scale invasion has been limited in various ways – including blurring of sensitive content, limiting the reach of accounts seen as violating rules, and outright censorship. This has impeded Ukrainians’ access to critical information in a rapidly changing security environment. Given these circumstances, the significance of effective policy-making and collaboration with the media cannot be overstated.
Effective policy-making and collaboration with the media are paramount. This report takes a retrospective look at the media landscape since the start of the full-scale invasion, aiming to identify platforms’ successful strategies and areas of improvement to enhance information accessibility of vulnerable groups.
This study is a review of various case studies. Further research would benefit from a proactive position of social media companies – both in accounting for the process of transforming their policies and giving access to data on the decisions made.