A tweet has gone viral that claims Twitter was banning users from using the emoji of the Ukrainian flag because it is considered a political statement against Russia. The tweet further claimed that users won't be allowed to use the Ukrainian flag emoji unless they paid for a 'Twitter Blue' checkmark.
However, the claim is completely false and the alleged notification from Twitter is fake. Twitter is not censoring the use of the Ukrainian flag emoji. Also, the social media platform is not asking users to pay up for 'Twitter Blue' in order to use the emoji. The entire claim is misleading and politics has nothing to do with it.
The claim has its roots in a tweet from @walterreport which also provided a screenshot of what appeared to be a notification to users about the change. The Tweet read: "Has anyone else gotten this popup yet or is it only us?"
The alleged pop-up tweet from the platform claimed:
"Only Twitter Blue subscribers can visibly support Ukraine. It'll just take a few minutes to remove it. Displaying this flag is considered a political statement against Russia, and as a neutral platform we must moderate any political bias. Learn more about our new community guidelines. To avoid losing access to Twitter, remove the [Ukrainian flag emoji] from your profile by February 28, 2023."
According to the account's bio, the Twitter user @walter report promised to give "Breaking news, reports, and comments from Ukraine." In fact, so far, this account appears to be the main source of the claim, meaning that it was the first social media account to share the supposed popup.
However, the claim is completely false.
In fact, as of now, there is no ban on suing the Ukrainian flag emoji. Also, there has been no problem using the emoji as Twitter hasn't asked for any payment for 'Twitter Blue' checkmark.
Hundreds of people over the past 24 hours have checked the validity of the statement by attempting to post the Ukrainian flag emoji on their personal Twitter accounts that are not members of Twitter Blue, an "opt-in, paid subscription that adds a blue checkmark to your account and offers early access to select features, like Edit Tweet."
There have been no reports of users finding problems or being stopped by Twitter from using the Ukrainian flag emoji.
While Twitter's policies do prohibit some content, they do not prevent users from posting about (or disseminating the emoji for) any nation's flag. According to the rules, users are not allowed to post adult material, promote or encourage child sex exploitation, use violent or harsh language, or promote or encourage suicide or self-harm. Those violations subject to a range of consequences, including suspension.
More interestingly, Following the initial tweet alleging that Twitter was suppressing the Ukrainian flag, a few hours later @walter report clarified to its followers that nothing of the sort had actually occurred. Twitter is not yet removing the "Ukrainian flag emoji," according to @Walter report.
The claim thus is completely false and baseless as both users with and without the "Twitter Blue" status may use the Ukrainian flag emoji, and since the source of the rumor regarding the alleged policy change claimed it wasn't really happening.