Meta loses ‘extremist tag’ appeal in Russian court
A Russian court in Moscow has rejected Facebook parent company Meta’s appeal after the tech giants were found guilty of ‘extremist activity’ in the country in March this year.
According to a report in Reuters, Russia had imposed bans on Facebook and Instagram in March. It accused Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg of allowing posts that called for the death of President Vladimir Putin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.
Russia also banned Twitter, but the extremism ruling did not affect the WhatsApp messenger service. Russia said WhatsApp is used for communication and is not a source of miscommunication.
Lawyer Victoria Shakina, representing Meta, told the court in March that the social networking company was not carrying out the extremist activity and was against Russophobia.
“Meta stands against Russophobia. We have no tolerance for calls for genocide, ethnic cleansing, or any discrimination, harassment, or violence towards Russians on our platform,” Meta’s global affairs president Nick Clegg said after the March ban.
Russia has accused Mark Zuckerberg and LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky of promoting the “Russiaphobic” agenda and indefinitely banned them from entering the country.
“The activities of the Meta organization are directed against Russia and its armed forces. The use of Meta’s products by individuals and legal entities should not be considered as participation in extremist activities. Individuals will not be held liable for using Meta’s services,” FSB representative Igor Kovalevsky told the court in April.