Bulletins

Twitter and Meta rush to protect user accounts in Ukraine

Some of the safety tips reveal the limits of what information users can actually control.

Protesters holding signs, one says, "We want peace on our land." Two others display images of Vladimir Putin with red X markings drawn over them.

People protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine outside the Russian Consulate on Feb. 24 in Istanbul.

Photo: Burak Kara/Getty Images

On Wednesday night, as Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, tech giants in the U.S. began rolling out new safety features and tips for users in the region.

Twitter's Safety team began sharing tips in Ukrainian for how users in the country can cover their digital tracks to help keep themselves safe. That included details for deleting their accounts entirely. Meta, meanwhile, launched a one-click tool for people in Ukraine that enables them to lock their Facebook accounts and stood up a special operations center to track the situation as it unfolds.


"When using Twitter in conflict zones or other high-risk areas, it’s important to be aware of how to control your account and digital information," the @TwitterSafety account tweeted Wednesday. The tweets, shared in both English and Ukrainian, spelled out how users can craft stronger passwords, implement two-factor authentication, make their tweets private and turn off location settings, among other things.

But the tips also revealed how little control users actually have over their information once it's been shared online in the first place. "If you enabled Tweet location in the past & want to disable it / remove location info from your previous Tweets, you can. Just know deleting it on Twitter won’t guarantee it’ll be removed from third-party apps or external search results," one tip read.

"Find out if your tweets are public or protected–which means they’re only visible to your followers–and adjust your settings accordingly. (Just know protecting tweets won't remove your old followers, though.)," read another.

Russia's attack on Ukraine is far from the only war to play out on U.S. tech platforms. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all fumbled their way through conflicts in Syria, Myanmar and elsewhere. But Russia's invasion of Ukraine may be the first one that Western countries have paid such close attention to from the very outset. That puts added pressure on these companies to get things right, from the way they moderate disinformation without distorting the historical record to the way they protect user information, so that people's digital lives don't put their actual lives at risk.

This story has been updated to include details about Meta's safety measures.

Latest Bulletins

A well-funded startup in the cybersecurity industry, Lacework, has become the latest tech firm to disclose a major round of layoffs amid fears of a broader economic slowdown.

Keep Reading Show less

Nvidia plans to slow hiring later this year, following similar moves from Lyft, Snap, Uber, Meta, Salesforce, Coinbase and others.

Keep Reading Show less

The Federal Trade Commission is charging Twitter for "deceptively" using security data — the phone numbers and emails it asked users to input to secure their accounts — to actually target ads to them, the agency announced Wednesday. The FTC will require that the company pay $150 million.

Keep Reading Show less

Sonos just launched its Sonos Radio service on the web, albeit in a somewhat limited fashion: A new Sonos Radio website features 45-minute samples from some of the service’s channels, as well as individual shows and mixes. The service was previously only available on Sonos speakers. The site was first spotted by a Reddit user.

Keep Reading Show less

Bolt told employees Wednesday that the company would undergo “several structural changes” — in other words, layoffs — in an effort to secure its financial position.

Keep Reading Show less

A federally funded AI research cloud is moving forward, and startups should be able to join the party.

A task force set up to design The National AI Research Resource, or NAIRR, a repository of data, tools and computing power needed to develop machine learning and other AI systems, published a preliminary report today outlining plans and expectations for the service.

Keep Reading Show less

Carbon dioxide removal will soon be written into Finnish law: In a historic Wednesday vote, the country’s Parliament approved a new Climate Change Act that would commit the country to carbon neutrality by 2035, and carbon negativity by 2040.

Keep Reading Show less

Peter Thiel has officially stepped down from Meta's board, a position he's held since Facebook was in its infancy. The company announced that Thiel would be leaving the board in February.

Now, Thiel looks poised to spend even more of his time, attention and money on backing conservative political candidates ahead of the midterms. He's already a top donor to Ohio senate candidate J.D. Vance and Arizona senate candidate Blake Masters, former president of the Thiel foundation. Thiel recently spent another $3.5 million on Masters' campaign.

Keep Reading Show less

In an expected move, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is leaving the company's board of directors, effective Wednesday. He made his resignation as a director formal at the company's annual shareholder meeting, where he did not stand for reelection, but had set his departure from the board in motion last fall when he stepped down as Twitter CEO.

Keep Reading Show less

Amazon successfully beat back a record-high 15 proposals from activists and worker advocates at its annual shareholder meeting today, maintaining the company’s track record of winning votes despite increased enthusiasm for the proposals.

Keep Reading Show less

A new comprehensive report has found that many remote learning apps used during the pandemic tracked students and shared their information with advertisers for targeted ads.

The report by Human Rights Watch examined 164 ed tech tools and websites used in the US and 48 other countries and found that 89% of the apps "appeared to engage in data practices that put children’s rights at risk.” Some of those apps were found to be sharing that data with marketers and data brokers.

Keep Reading Show less

Just weeks after one of the Terra blockchain's signature cryptocurrencies collapsed, here comes the reboot.

Token holders approved a plan to relaunch the Terra blockchain and distribute new tokens of the luna cryptocurrency by a wide margin Wednesday morning. Do Kwon, the crypto entrepreneur behind Terra, offered the plan as a way to salvage the Terra blockchain after luna and the connected UST algorithmic stablecoin, also known as TerraUSD, lost nearly all value in a sell-off after it lost its peg to the dollar earlier this month.

Keep Reading Show less

Lyft has joined Uber, Meta, Robinhood and a slew of other tech companies in slowing hiring and focusing on critical open roles, though the company is reportedly not planning layoffs, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Keep Reading Show less

Tesla is pushing for changes to Texas’ energy market rules that would allow anyone with solar panels or battery storage to essentially sell excess power back to the grid. The company wants residential owners to be able to participate in the market, including, of course, owners of Tesla's residential products, like its Powerwall.

Tesla is framing its ask as a bid to insulate the Texas grid from the kinds of demand spikes that have caused major blackouts in the past: a gesture of good corporate citizenship, if you will. It doesn’t hurt that it would come with the added benefit of making Tesla’s products even more attractive.

Keep Reading Show less

LAS VEGAS - The software industry is in the midst of a tumultuous time. But at ServiceNow, CEO Bill McDermott is nothing but optimistic about the vendor’s outlook.

Keep Reading Show less

ClickUp laid off 7% of its staff on Monday morning, in a move that was called “unexpected” by several laid-off employees on LinkedIn. CEO Zeb Evans told Protocol the goal was to ensure ClickUp’s profitability and efficiency in the future.

"Yesterday, we made restructuring changes to optimize our business for utmost efficiency," Evans said. "In doing so, this puts us in a position to accelerate our timeline to profitability and ultimately achieve our goal of going public. We are by no means slowing down or pausing hiring, as we plan to hire 250 people this year and 300 more next year."

Keep Reading Show less

Ousted WeWork founder Adam Neumann is moving into crypto.

Flowcarbon, which counts Neumann and his wife Rebekah as co-founders, said Tuesday it has raised $70 million combined in venture funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz's crypto fund, and a token sale. The startup hopes to sell tokenized carbon credits on the blockchain.

Keep Reading Show less

A recent report from Andreessen Horowitz illustrates a sad state of affairs for the fintech industry, which has gotten clobbered in the tech-stocks downdraft. A chart included in the report shows fintech valuations in sharper decline than any other sector, by a significant margin.

Keep Reading Show less

Netflix is setting its sights on gaming beyond mobile, if a survey sent to subscribers this week is any indication. In the survey, the company asked respondents at length about their own gaming habits as well as their familiarity with a variety of game subscription services, including Xbox Game Pass, PlayStation Plus and Apple Arcade.

Keep Reading Show less

A California judge ruled that the sexual harassment case against Tesla can continue in court, despite the fact that the worker who brought the case had previously signed an arbitration agreement giving up her right to sue.

Keep Reading Show less

Startups that soared throughout the pandemic are now feeling the crunch, and on-demand grocery company Gorillas is the latest victim. The company announced Tuesday that it's laying off half its corporate staff, or about 300 employees around the world.

Keep Reading Show less

Netflix is releasing three new games Tuesday and plans to release Exploding Kittens, its most high-profile original game, on May 31, the company announced on Tuesday. Netflix says its catalog now includes 22 games in total.

Keep Reading Show less

Barely more than two weeks after it agreed to stop selling its existing collection of face prints to private entities, facial recognition firm Clearview AI has a brand new plan to sell its software to private companies instead.

Keep Reading Show less

LGBTQ+ workers are generally less satisfied with their employers than their straight, cisgender colleagues are, according to a new report from Glassdoor. But some companies are more popular with their LGBTQ+ employees than others.

Keep Reading Show less

Last year saw a notable jump in ransomware attacks that included exfiltration of data as a component, highlighting an ongoing shift in the way the attacks are monetized, according to Verizon's major annual breach report.

Keep Reading Show less
Bulletins