Russia bans Facebook and Instagram because of “radicalism”

Clothing, furniture, massage, language courses ...: Instagram has been an important online sales tool for many Russian companies.

A Russian court banned social networks Facebook and Instagram on Russian territory on Monday, March 21st. “Extremeism”.. A decision directed in the direction of a request by authorities to strengthen control of information in a complete military invasion of Ukraine.

However, this ban does not apply to WhatsApp, a messaging application that belongs to Meta.The court said this was “Disclosure of information”..

This is a symbolic decision. Facebook and Instagram have already been blocked for several days by Russian internet service providers and many other sites, including certain media. On March 11, Russian authorities demanded that Meta be classified as an organization. “Extreme”He accused the government of easing regulations to allow the publication of violent messages to military and Russian leaders in connection with military attacks in Ukraine. Facebook has announced that it will certainly appear on March 10th“Indulgence” In his moderation of a particular message hostile to the Russian army and Russia’s actions in Ukraine. A representative of Meta said at a hearing on Monday that the company subsequently changed the regulation to a ban, according to Russian news agency TASS. “Call for anti-Russian and violence”..

In court, the prosecution repeated the request for a ban, given that Meta justified it. “Terrorist acts” I wanted to encourage “Hate and hostility” Towards the Russians.The Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia also demanded a ban on Monday “Immediately” From Facebook and Instagram.Therefore, these social networks are now “Prohibition of radical activities”The court added to the statement posted in the telegram.

Instagram, very popular in russia

As a rule, according to Alexander Kinstein, elected by the Russian Parliamentary Commission, users of these social networks (for example, stay connected using a VPN, a tool that allows hiding) with his online identity. ) You should not be prosecuted for “accomplices with radical organizations”. But in the end, according to Pavel Chikov, a lawyer who spoke with Telegram and TASS, on the other hand, individuals and businesses could be criticized if they bought ads on Facebook or Instagram.

Clothes, furniture, massage, language courses … Instagram has been an important online sales tool for many Russian companies and for artists who rely on their recognition on this platform both inside and outside Russia to find customers.

These bans are shunned by the mainstream media managed by the Kremlin and may also affect opposition movements that are regularly published on these platforms. Like his opponent Alexï Navalny, he was imprisoned and the team continues to feed his Instagram account.

The following decisions may be made: Last week, Russian telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor blamed US company Google and its video service YouTube. “terrorist”The first step towards the possibility of obstruction.

At the same time, authorities introduced two new criminal offenses at the beginning of March. One is to disseminate information. “Untrustworthy” Russian army, the other for information dissemination “Lie” To the Russian army.

The latter crimes can be imprisoned for up to 15 years. It is particularly worried about opponents and independent media who fear prosecution for accusations of attacks. At least three people who posted messages condemning the war in Ukraine have already been charged for this reason.

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Updated March 21, 6:50 pm: Fixed a wording error in the characterization of Russian sanctions against Meta.

World with AFP