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25 Nov, 2022 14:25

Meta added to ‘extremist’ list

Moscow has banned Facebook and Instagram for permitting calls for violence against Russians 
Meta added to ‘extremist’ list

Russia’s Justice Ministry’s has added Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to the list of organizations banned under the country’s anti-extremism laws. 

A Moscow court authorized shutting down access to both social media platforms and accused Meta of engaging in “extremist” activity in March after officials argued that the company was permitting “aggressive rhetoric towards Russian citizens.” 

The dispute between the Russian authorities and Meta unfolded shortly after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Russian officials, including media regulator Roskomnadzor, called for the ban of Facebook and Instagram, citing Meta’s decision to allow speech that “would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’” 

A Meta legal representative argued in court at the time that the company was still not allowing calls for violence against ordinary Russian citizens. 

Instant messaging service WhatsApp, also owned by Meta, continues to operate in Russia legally, as it is not involved in “public dissemination of information.”