A Russian court has banned Facebook and Instagram.
Update from Monday, March 21, 2022, 3:15 p.m.: After Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were already blocked in Russia at the beginning of March, a Russian court has now banned Facebook and Instagram. This is reported by the AFP news agency. In its decision on Monday, the court accused the networks belonging to the US group Meta of “extremist” activities, as reported by Russian state media.
The Russian domestic secret service FSB had previously accused Meta of its activities being directed “against Russia and its armed forces”.
Ukraine war: After Facebook and Twitter – Instagram is now also being blocked in Russia
First report from Friday, March 11th, 2022: Moscow – The Ukraine war is also having an impact on social media. After Russia had already blocked Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is now following suit. The Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor is trying to justify the procedure. Criticism hails from the companies concerned
Calls for violence against Russian citizens and soldiers were being spread on the social media platform Instagram, according to a statement by the Russian media regulator Roskomnadzor on Friday (March 11, 2022). Earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office had asked Roskomnadzor to restrict access to Instagram – and also announced the deletion of her own Instagram account.
Russia blocks Instagram: Prosecutor General also wants to ban meta group
The background is a decision by the US group Meta, which includes Instagram and Facebook as well as Whatsapp *, to allow calls for violence against Russian troops in Ukraine. A Facebook spokesperson cited the phrase “death to Russian invaders” as an example of an exception to utterances that would normally have violated policies. This caused outrage in Moscow.
Russia’s Attorney General wants to have the entire Facebook group Meta banned as an “extremist organization”. A corresponding application has already been submitted to the court.
Ukraine war: Facebook criticizes shutdown in Russia – Will Whatsapp follow soon?
Even after Facebook was shut down, the company criticized the actions in Russia. Millions of people would be cut off from reliable information, said Facebook manager Nick Clegg on Twitter. They are also deprived of the opportunity to connect with their families and friends via the social network. Many Russians also use social networks to find out about the Ukraine conflict*.
People in Russia feared that Whatsapp could now also be blocked. Some promptly moved their family chats to other messenger services such as Telegram, reports the German Press Agency. The state agency Ria Nowosti, however, citing a source in law enforcement agencies, reported that Whatsapp should not be restricted. In turn, Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on Information Policy Sergei Boyarsky said: “Something tells me that in the near future all meta-services on the territory of the Russian Federation will be blocked.”
Censorship in Russia: Even independent media have already been switched off
Several independent media had already been shut down in Russia, including the radio station Echo Moskvy, which was critical of the Kremlin, and the Internet television station Dozhd. Russian President Vladimir Putin also signed several laws further restricting freedom of expression. However, in order to circumvent censorship in Russia and to inform the Russian population about the Ukraine war, many people use the ratings on Google Maps.
In Ukraine, on the other hand, social networks are very active and are also used by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is particularly active on Twitter and regularly reports on the situation on the ground. Kiev’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir also often comment on social networks. In a Twitter video, Wladimir Klitschko found clear words about the war in Ukraine, in which many people have already been killed. The “most unbearable victims” are the children, he said. (svw with material from dpa)
List of rubrics: © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/dpa