Apple and other major IT companies respond to Russia’s foray

Apple and other major IT companies respond to Russia's foray

Here’s what Apple, Google, and other tech giants have done to aid the world in ending the conflict. Cellphone manufacturer Apple has taken drastic measures. It paused all product sales within Russia’s borders and restricted essential functions for Russian citizens who own Apple devices. Russian news apps RT and Sputnik are also no longer available on the App Store.

Apple and other major IT firms respond to Russia’s incursion. These huge internet and social media company punishments aren’t simply for show. Logos of Facebook and Twitter on a Russian background Image courtesy of KnowTechie. On February 24, 2022, Russia started a full-scale invasion of its neighbour Ukraine, which is still ongoing three weeks later. Private companies throughout the globe, including the biggest names in big tech and social media, have taken action against Russia in an attempt to persuade Moscow to remove its soldiers.

Highlights

  • Google Maps can normally show population density in a specific area through traffic reports, but the company has turned that feature off to avoid putting large groups of civilians and military personnel under a microscope. Google also updated its Search tool to direct people seeking asylum to helpful United Nations resources. This step is part of a greater effort to fight against Russia’s online influence.

  • The company has also made an impact in Ukraine, shutting down all traffic and live incident reports on Apple Maps to avoid exposing civilians to armed forces, as many civilians remain sheltered in Ukraine’s major cities. The map now shows Crimea as Ukrainian territory instead of Russian territory as a jab to Russia. Google shares Apple’s sentiment and has also restricted its Maps features within Ukraine’s borders.

Meta has also introduced new security measures for Ukrainians and Russians to protect against hackers, militant groups, and other threats. Many Russian citizens have protested against the conflict and face punishment from their own government. Meta’s messaging apps WhatsApp and Messenger remain functional to encourage these citizens to continue organizing their cause. Snapchat has personal connections to the war, as its augmented reality technology comes from Looksery, a Ukrainian tech company the social media giant bought out in 2015.

Google has bolstered cybersecurity for over 100 Ukrainian websites and blocked all YouTube channels across Europe connected to ST and Sputnik. Facebook and Instagram’s parent company Meta also blocked access to RT and Sputnik throughout the European Union to stop the spread of Russia’s state-backed information. The social media apps have also demoted or fact-checked content from other Russian media outlets – something they also did with COVID-19, to varying degrees of success.

Snapchat says that over 300 Ukrainians have helped develop the app over the years. It no longer runs advertisements in Russia, Belarus, or Ukraine and has stopped accepting revenue from Russian-owned entities.