Accuracy in Media

The Intercept seems to believe that it’s problematic if an “ultra-right nationalist” group receives donations when its country is being invaded.

Ukraine is being invaded by Russia, but it is still problematic that Facebook allows a Ukrainian nationalist group to receive funds, according to a recent piece.

AIM has reported on the Azov Battalion here before. They started out on the fringes and are now part of the official armed forces of Ukraine. It’s also true that history leaves imprints upon current propaganda. Some, to many Ukrainians, were so Anti-Soviet – with reason – that they fought against the Soviet Union. So, anyone today who is less than enthusiastic about Russian power in the region can and will be called a Nazi.

When the country is actually being invaded, we can see the tanks on our TV screens, such rhetoric might, perhaps, be put to one side. Except not at The Intercept:

 “Facebook will temporarily allow its billions of users to praise the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi military unit.”

The Azov Battalion is, whatever else it is or has been, a military unit fighting against the invasion of Ukraine.

“While Facebook users may now praise any future battlefield action by Azov soldiers against Russia…”

We can’t find it in ourselves to describe this as a problem.

The Intercept is financed by a trust set up from Pierre Omidyar’s e-Bay fortune. Nothing wrong with that, but it now seems to have been colonized by a particular political view. One which militates against journalistic norms even. The site does gain 3.5 million visits a month and might do better to do more journalism and less political viewpoint.

A good part of the Azov Battalion’s description as an ultra-nationalist – even Nazi – Ukrainian militia is in itself Russian propaganda about those who are Ukrainian nationalists. Worth reminding people of this in the middle of a war of conquest by Russia over Ukraine, no?

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