A Moscow court on Monday rejected a complaint filed by Meta Platforms after it was found guilty of “extremist activities” in Russia in March, TASS reported.

Russia has restricted access to Meta’s leading platforms Facebook and Instagram, as well as other social networks, after Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine on February 24, a move critics cite as Russia’s effort to control more information flows. .

As early as March, Russia said its decision on extremism would not affect Meta’s WhatsApp messaging service, instead focusing on Facebook and Instagram.

Meta did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Lawyer Victoria Shakina told the court in March that Meta was not extremist and opposed Russophobia.

Russia initially banned Facebook from restricting access to Russian media, while Instagram was targeted after Meta said it would allow social media users in Ukraine to post messages calling for violence against Russian President Vladimir Putin and troops sent from Moscow there.

Meta subsequently narrowed its guidelines to ban calls for the death of a head of state, saying their guidelines should never be construed as endorsing violence against Russians in general.

Russia has also objected to the treatment of its own media by foreign platforms, some of which are labeled “state-controlled.” The state communications regulator Roskomnadzor regularly fines social media companies that do not delete content that Russia considers illegal.

A lawyer representing Meta on Monday told the court that refusing to block access to content and labeling state-controlled media are not activities that qualify as extremist, according to a Kommersant reporter in the courtroom.

Reuters could not independently verify this account and the lawyer could not be found immediately. The decision caused some confusion in March, as Meta’s WhatsApp service remained available.

In addition, prosecutors said individuals would not be charged only for using Meta’s services, which are still available through virtual private networks (VPNs).

According to the decision, when referring to Meta in the public sphere, organizations and individuals are obliged to include a disclaimer that Meta’s activities are prohibited on Russian territory.

© Thomson Reuters 2022


Previous articleBusiness Development Manager joins the recruitment team
Next articleThe minister says the proposal to compensate 555 grants is coming to an end