How the internet is responding to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Twitter, Wikipedia, and Google Maps are platforms being leveraged to help Ukraine.

Russia brutally invaded Ukraine last Thursday.

In the days since, there’s been a global outpouring of support, including major financial sanctions and military assistance.

There have also been numerous examples of netizens leveraging the internet to make a difference.

Here are some examples rounded up by privacy lawyer Whitney Merrill:

  • Wikipedia: Volunteer editors are working to keep details of the invasion timely and accurate.
  • Google Maps: Traffic data from Ukrainian users helps identify Russian troop movements (netizens also identified the location of Russian oligarch yachts).
  • GitHub: The open-source community is crowdsourcing intelligence.
  • Anonymous: The hacker group is targeting Russian government websites.
  • Starlink: Ukraine’s vice PM asked Elon Musk on Twitter to provide internet service via SpaceX’s satellite array. Musk responded that it was activated and equipment was being sent to Ukraine.
  • OSINT: The acronym stands for “open-source intelligence” and has been used to identify the location of munitions.
  • Fundraising: Ukraine’s official Twitter account set up transfers to support the country’s defense.
  • Misinformation: Social media users are debunking fake videos and photos in real time.

While much more is needed for Ukraine — and its courageous citizens — to ultimately survive the onslaught, these examples show how free internet tools that already exist can help. And there are surely more tools to come.

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