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‘Death Calls’: Russia Opens Case Against Meta, Restricts Instagram Operations


March 11, (THEWILL) – Russia on Friday said it was opening a criminal case against Meta for “calling for the murder” of Russians.

The development, according to Russia, followed Meta’s (the parent company of Facebook and Instagram) action relaxing rules on violent messages aimed at Russia’s army and leaders.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it was launching an investigation “due to illegal calls for the murder of Russian nationals by employees of the American company Meta.”

Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office also requested that the internet giant be branded “extremist.”

The General Prosecutor’s Office said, “materials were being distributed on Instagram that contained calls for committing violent acts against the citizens of Russia, including military personnel.”

Meanwhile, Russia has restricted the operations of Instagram in the country.

The Russian Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communications, (Roskomnadzor) said: “Based on the requirement of the Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation, access to the Instagram social network (owned by Meta Platforms, Inc) in the Russian Federation will be limited.

“The Instagram social network distributes informational materials containing calls to commit violent acts against citizens of the Russian Federation, including military personnel.

“According to a spokesperson for Meta Platforms Inc., Andy Stone, dated 03/11/2022, the company removes the ban on its social networks for residents of a number of countries to post information containing calls for violence against Russian citizens, including military personnel.”

Russia had last week banned Facebook. Roskomnadzor said the social media platform was blocked after it refused to stop fact-checking and labelling content from state-owned organisations.