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Russia opens criminal case against Meta

Earlier, Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced the temporary easing of its policy and allowing violent speech against Russian for the latter's invasion of Ukraine, Al Jazeera reported.

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Moscow: Russia’s Investigative Committee on Friday opened a criminal case against Meta following the company’s decision to allow hate speeches against Russians on its platforms over Moscow’s invasion into Ukraine.

According to a statement from the committee, “A criminal case has been initiated in the Main Investigation Department of the Russian Investigative Committee 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.

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“These actions contain signs of crimes under Articles 280 and 205.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – public calls for extremist activities; assistance to terrorist activities.”

Earlier, Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced the temporary easing of its policy and allowing violent speech against Russian for the latter’s invasion of Ukraine, Al Jazeera reported.

The tech giant, defended its policy decision, saying that “We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians, adding that this allowance was only temporary”.

The statement said that the policy applies to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine, citing the firm’s emails to its content moderators.

Following the announcement, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office asked Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor to restrict access to Instagram in Russia, Sputnik reported. The office also urged for recognition of Meta Platforms Inc. “as an extremist organization and ban its activities in Russia.” 

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