Russia bans Facebook and Instagram under ‘extremism’ law

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A Russian court has banned Facebook and Instagram in the country, labelling its parent company Meta as “extremist” amid the Kremlin’s sweeping crackdown on western social media giants.

Access to Facebook and Instagram had already been restricted earlier this month after Meta confirmed it was relaxing its policies on hate speech towards Russian soldiers and Vladimir Putin in relation to the country’s war in Ukraine. Meta later said the laxer rules would only apply to people posting from inside Ukraine.

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Russia court bans Facebook, Instagram on ‘extremism’ charges
A Moscow court banned Facebook and Instagram on Monday for what it deemed extremist activity in a case against their parent company, Meta.

The Tverskoy District Court fulfilled a request from prosecutors to outlaw Meta Platforms Inc. and banned Facebook and Instagram for what they called “extremist activities.” Russian prosecutors have accused the social media platforms of ignoring government requests to remove what they described as fake news about Russian military actions in Ukraine and calls for anti-war protests in Russia.

Russia finds Meta guilty of ‘extremist activity’, says WhatsApp can stay
A Moscow court on Monday found Meta Platforms Inc guilty of “extremist activity”, but said its decision would not affect the WhatsApp messenger service, focusing its ire on the company’s already banned Facebook and Instagram social networks.

Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court upheld a lawsuit filed by Russian state prosecutors on banning the activities of Meta on Russian territory, the court’s press service said in a statement.

Russia finds Meta guilty of ‘extremist activity’ but WhatsApp can stay
A Moscow court said on Monday that Meta was guilty of “extremist activity”, but the ruling will not affect its WhatsApp messenger service, focusing on the U.S. firm’s already-banned Facebook and Instagram social networks.

Meta did not respond to requests for comment after Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court said in a press statement that it had upheld a lawsuit filed by state prosecutors on banning the company’s activities on Russian territory.

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