Moscow Court Bans Facebook as an “Extremist Organization”

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A Moscow court on Monday banned Facebook and Instagram in Russia as extremist organizations, after the platforms, owned by US-tech giant Meta, allowed online hate speech against the country’s nationals.

The judge had rejected a request by the company’s lawyers to stop or delay the proceedings.

The platforms changed their policy to allow hate speech, and calls for violence against Russian military. After some backlash and mockery, Facebook explained it was the change only applied on Ukrainian territory. Calls to kill Putin were also allowed.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has fully backed the bans, the agency’s representative said in court that the tech giant’s actions “were aimed against Russia and its armed forces.” He called on the judge to outlaw the two services and to “immediately” implement the decision.

The prosecutor acknowledged in court that there are technical means for users to bypass the ruling and still access Facebook and Instagram. However, he assured the court that Russians “won’t be held liable for simply using Meta’s products.”

The prosecutor labeled Facebook an “extremist organization.”

The development prompted Russia to block Instagram, which had 80 million users in the country. Facebook had been made inaccessible earlier, in response to the platform’s clampdown accounts belonging to Russian media outlets.

Meta attorney said the platform “changed its policy after public discussions and now declares that Russophobia and calls for violence against Russian citizens are unacceptable.”

It’s probably a good thing for Russians. They can socialize in real life instead of on these platforms.

For an evil dictator, Putin makes sense here.


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