The Russian government moved to categorize the social media giant Meta Platform as an ‘extremist organization’ after an internal email showed that it would temporarily allow its users to call for violence and murder against Russian nationals.
Earlier this month, Russia blocked access to Facebook after imposing partial restrictions on the social media giant for refusing Russia’s request to stop fact-checking their state-run media.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that Meta would allow users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukraine invasion.
Now, Russia opened a criminal case against Meta for permitting violence, including death threats in their platform against Russian nationals. Russia’s prosecutor general office also called to label them as an ‘extremist organization.’
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Russia opened a criminal case against Facebook’s parent Meta Platforms on Friday after the social network changed its hate speech rules to allow users to call for “death to the Russian invaders” in the context of the war with Ukraine.
Russian prosecutors asked a court to designate the U.S. tech giant as an “extremist organization,” and the communications regulator said it was restricting access to Meta’s Instagram.
“A criminal case has been initiated … in connection with illegal calls for murder and violence against citizens of the Russian Federation by employees of the American company Meta, which owns the social networks Facebook and Instagram,” Russia’s Investigative Committee said.
The committee reports directly to President Vladimir Putin. It was not immediately clear what the consequences of the criminal case might be.
No comment was immediately available from Meta in response to a Reuters request.