Meta in Trouble for Being Extremist Once Again

 A Moscow court on Monday approved bans on the Meta-owned platforms, Facebook and Instagram due to “prevalent extremist activities”. Russian prosecutors have accused them of refusing to comply with government requests to remove what they describe as fake news about the Russian military invasion of Ukraine and calls for anti-war protests in Russia.

Additionally, the court’s ruling bans Meta from opening offices and conducting any sort of business in Russia. The state-controlled media outlet TASS further reported that despite the imposed ban, individuals will not be charged with “extremism” for continuing to use Facebook and Instagram.

WhatsApp Dodged The Bullet

However, the popular messaging app WhatsApp, which is widely used in Russia, was not named in the ban. Furthermore, as of today, Telegram has transcended WhatsApp to become the most popular platform amid increasing restrictions placed on foreign digital services, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter after accusing the platforms of spreading violence against Russian soldiers. This happened after Russian authorities actively started promoting Telegram as an alternative.

In addition to blocking Facebook and Instagram, Russian authorities have also cut down any accessibility to foreign media websites, such as BBC, the U.S. government-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, and Latvia-based website Meduza.

The court’s verdict comes amidst multiple efforts by Russian authorities to control the message about Russia’s military action in Ukraine, which the Kremlin describes as a “special military operation” intended to uproot alleged “neo-Nazi nationalists.”

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