FACT CHECK: Is Twitter Restricting Display Of The Ukrainian Flag?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims the social media platform Twitter is restricting the display of the Ukrainian flag and asking users to remove it from their profiles.

Verdict: False

The photo is false. The Twitter user who spread the claim later admitted it was false.

Fact Check:

Musk has courted controversy with his comments on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, questioning the election in Ukraine that took place in 2014 while accusing the country of staging a coup during that time, according to Ukrainska Pravda. SpaceX also restricted the Ukrainian military’s usage of the Starlink satellite internet service for drones, Reuters reported.

The purported Twitter screenshot shows a notice to users announcing the restriction of the display of the Ukrainian flag. “Only Twitter Blue subscribers can visibly support Ukraine,” the notice reads in part, citing the platform’s new moderation policies as the reason.

You can’t be serious, @elonmusk? Now you’re censoring the [Ukrainian flag]? Has anyone else gotten this popup yet or is it only us,” the post’s caption reads.

There is no evidence that this occurred. If Twitter was censoring the Ukrainian flag, media outlets would have covered it, yet none have. Twitter’s rules also do not state that the display of the Ukrainian flag is restricted to Twitter Blue subscribers.

Ella Irwin, the head of trust and safety at Twitter, told AFP Fact Check that the company was “not aware of any such notice or restriction.” (RELATED: Is Arizona’s Voting Equipment Not Certified?)

The user who spread the claim later admitted it was fake.

“Twitter is NOT banning the 🇺🇦… yet. The fact that it’s so believable Musk would do this is serious though. Musk’s actions and tweets speak louder than fake memes and have real consequences for Ukraine. A real threat to democracy is Musk echoing his far-right besties,'” reads the tweet.

The image does have a parallel. Twitter did tell users that SMS two-factor authentication would be restricted to Twitter Blue subscribers, according to The Guardian.

Misinformation regarding Twitter and Musk has spread widely on social media since his acquisition of the platform in 2022. Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim in December 2022 suggesting the Twitter CEO was planning to buy Snapchat.

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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