Russia bans Facebook and Instagram for ‘extremism’

A court in Moscow has ruled the activities of Instagram and Facebook are “extremist” and has banned their operations in Russia.

“We are granting the prosecution’s request to ban the activities of [Instagram and Facebook’s parent company] Meta,” Judge Olga Solopova said, according to Russian news agency Tass.

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said that extremist materials had been posted on the social networks, citing calls for violence against Russian citizens, including military personnel stationed in Ukraine.

Earlier this month, prosecutors called for a criminal investigation into Meta, citing Russian propaganda and extremism laws.

Access to Facebook and Instagram had already been restricted in the country over what Moscow had described as “fake news.”

Meta had said it would let users in some countries call for violence against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian soldiers.

The judge said the court ruling does not apply to the messaging service WhatsApp, which is also owned by Meta.

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