Russia court bans Facebook, Instagram on 'extremism' charges

Russia Meta
Posted at 3:28 PM, Mar 21, 2022

MOSCOW (AP) — A Moscow court has banned Facebook and Instagram for what it deemed extremist activity in a case against their parent company, Meta.

Prosecutors have accused the social media platforms of ignoring government requests to remove what they described as fake news about the military action in Ukraine.

Prosecutors haven’t requested to ban the Meta-owned messaging services WhatsApp.

Instagram and Facebook were already blocked in Russia after authorities said they were being used to call for violence against Russian soldiers.

After the initial ban, Nick Clegg, president of Global Affairs for Meta, said millions of Russians were being deprived of communicating with family and friends.

"We will continue to do everything we can to restore our services so they can remain available to people to safely and securely express themselves and organize for action," Clegg said at the time.

However, Meta declined to comment after Monday's ruling.

Russia has been cracking down on media in the country as its invasion of Ukraine continues. Numerous media outlets have pulled their reporters from Ukraine because reporting on the war could put them in legal jeopardy.