Facebook, Instagram banned in Russia under ‘extremism’ law thumbnail

Facebook, Instagram banned in Russia under ‘extremism’ law

Facebook and Instagram have now been completely banned in Russia under the country’s “extremism” law just weeks after Russia blocked access to Meta’s social media platforms.The ban, which came from a decision by Judge Olga Solopova of the Tverskoy Court of Moscow, takes effect immediately and prevents Facebook and Instagram from opening branches or conducting business in Russia, according to Russian state media TASS.

Meta-owned WhatsApp, which is by far the most popular messaging platform in the country, was not included in the ban. According to data published by Statista, more than 76 million people in the country used WhatsApp each month in 2021.

Prosecutors said that individuals who use the platforms in Russia will not be held liable just for using Meta’s services.

“The use of Meta’s products by individuals and legal entities should not be considered as participation in extremist activities,” a spokesman for the Prosecutor General’s Office told TASS.

Last week, Russian regulators cut off access to Instagram for about 80 million users, arguing that Meta was allowing posts that provoke acts of violence against Russian troops in Ukraine.

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