As Russia – Ukraine invasion continues four days later, big US tech companies like Airbnb, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Starlink have made significant moves in support of Ukrainians. Find out what each of them has done below:
Elon Musk’s announced in a tweet that his space exploration company, SpaceX, has launched 50 Starlink satellites to connect Ukrainians. While the tech billionaire did not mention that the effort was aimed at supporting either side of the war, the intention is clear from the context. Musk had been replying to a tweet that had requested, “We ask you to provide Ukraine with Starlink stations and to address sane Russians to stand.”
On Monday, NBC News reported that social media giants Facebook and Twitter took down networks running anti-Ukraine propaganda campaigns and promoting pro-Putin ideas on their platforms. Additionally, the companies revealed that some of the campaigns were run through compromised accounts of real users.
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A verified Twitter handle of a Ukraine-based journal tweeted that Google was also doing its part in the tense situation. “Google Maps disables Google Maps’ live traffic overlay and Live Busyness, a feature that displays how popular a location may be at a given time. Google reportedly made the change in an effort to help keep Ukrainians safe,” it wrote.
However, the company itself has not confirmed the reason behind disabling these features, but a Daily Mail report also points to the same reason mentioned above. According to a statement, drivers using its turn-by-turn navigation features in Ukraine can still see live traffic information.
Airbnb is the latest US-based tech company to play its part in the Russia – Ukraine war. On 28 February 2022, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the rental company, Brian Chesky, said: “Airbnb and Airbnb.org are working with our Hosts to house up to 100,000 refugees fleeing from Ukraine, for free.” Since this will involve hosts, Chesky pleaded with house owners in Poland, Germany, Hungary, and Romania to join the effort.
The company has a track record of supporting refugees and asylum-seekers, and it has done so for nearly 54,000 such people over the last five years, Business Insider says.
As the Russian invasion continues into its fourth day, sanctions from Ukraine’s allies are expected to increase if the situation does not improve. Tech companies, especially payment giants like SWIFT, may also be called upon to act on the Russia Ukraine issue.
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