Court rejects appeal and maintains ban on Facebook and Instagram in Russia

A Moscow court on Monday rejected tech giant Meta’s appeal against the decision to declare the company an “extremist organization” and to ban the social networks Facebook and Instagram in Russia.

“The appeal was dismissed. The decision of the Tverskoi court of March 21 remains unchanged,” said judge Alexandr Ponomariov, quoted by Russian news agency Interfax.

The first-instance decision banned the social networks Facebook and Instagram, managed by Meta, in Russia after the Attorney General’s Office accused the tech giant of carrying out “extremist activities”.

The sentence does not extend to the WhatsApp messaging service, also managed by Meta, because this application does not disclose information publicly.

The Attorney General called for a ban on Meta’s activities in Russia after the company temporarily lifted the ban on users from several countries to publish information in which they called for violent actions against Russian citizens, after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, company spokesman Andy Stone explained that the exceptions were temporarily allowed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine if the posts did not include death threats against Russian civilians.

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