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‘Extremist organizations’ Facebook and Instagram banned in Russia

'Extremist organizations' Facebook and Instagram banned in Russia

After blocking Instagram, which had 80 million users in Russia and making Facebook inaccessible earlier this month, both social networks were completely banned in the country today.

Moscow court declared Instagram and Facebook ‘extremist organizations’ effectively making it illegal for the platforms to operate in Russia.

The judge had rejected the request by Meta’s lawyers to stop or delay the proceedings against the social media giant.

Russian authorities claim that both networks “allowed online hate speech against the country’s nationals” and had ignored around 4,600 demands to remove the objective coverage of Russian aggression in Ukraine. According to Russian officials, the objective coverage of the war was a “false content” about Russia’s “military operation” in Ukraine.

Russian authorities also claimed that their 1,800 demands to delete “calls for illegal protest” from both networks were “ignored.”

The infamous KGB successor, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has fully backed the ban on Meta, with the secret police’s representative proclaiming in court that the tech giant’s actions “were aimed against Russia and its armed forces.” He urged the judge to outlaw the US company and to “immediately” implement this decision.

Russia’s Prosecutor General had filed a legal complaint demanding that Meta’s platforms be outlawed and the company itself designated an extremist organization in Russia, after Instagram and Facebook refused to ban or remove critical information about Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine amid Moscow’s ongoing invasion of the pro-Western neighbor country.

The lawsuit isn’t aiming to restrict WhatsApp, due to it being simply a communication tool, but considering the absurdity of Russian “reality” that can also change any time.

During the hearings on Monday, Meta’s lawyers asked the judge to drop or to postpone the proceedings. They argued that the lawsuit shouldn’t be handled by a Russian court as Meta is registered in the US and because of this fact the proceedings should be transferred to America. The defense also complained that it wasn’t given enough time to properly prepare for the case, which was filed just over a week ago. 

All defense’s complaints and requests were blanketly rejected by the court.

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