AKIPRESS.COM - A Moscow court has recognized the activities of Instagram and Facebook, social networks owned by Meta Platforms, as extremist and banned their operation in Russia, Tass reported.
According to Judge Olga Solopova, Moscow’s Tverskoy district court has sustained the corresponding motion filed by the Russian prosecutor general’s office.
"The ruling is to come into effect immediately," she read out the ruling.
Earlier, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) insisted on banning Instagram and Facebook.
The ban does not apply to Meta’s WhatsApp messenger, the prosecutor explained earlier. Apart from that, in his words, people and organizations will not be brought to responsibility on extremism charges for using Facebook and Instagram. "The use of Meta products by individuals and legal entities should not be qualified as participation in extremist activities," a representative of the prosecutor’s office said. "People will not be brought to responsibility for mere using Meta’s services."
Under the court ruling, Meta is banned from opening offices and conducting commercial activities in Russia.
The motion to the prosecutor general’s office to outlaw Meta followed the company’s steps to lift a ban on posting calls for violence against Russian nationals in several countries. Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on charges of calling for the use of violence against Russian nationals.
Russia’s mass media and telecommunications watchdog earlier blocked access to Instagram and Facebook in Russia. It was decided not to block access to WhatsApp.