Russia court bans Instagram, Facebook

A Moscow court banned Facebook and Instagram on Monday, describing the social media apps as “extremist” organizations.

The ban is coming after authorities accused US tech giant, Meta of tolerating “Russophobia” during the military action in Ukraine.

The Tverskoy district court stated that it had agreed to a request from prosecutors for Instagram and Facebook to be banned for “carrying out extremist activities”, but exempted WhatsApp because it’s not a public platform.

The court ruling is part of efforts by Moscow to crack down on social media amid war in Ukraine.

Russia’s FSB security service at the Monday’s hearing accused Meta in charge of Facebook and Instagram of working against Moscow’s interests.

“The activities of the Meta organisation are directed against Russia and its armed forces,” FSB representative Igor Kovalevsky told the court, Russian news agencies reported.

“We demand (the court) to ban Meta’s activities and oblige it to implement this ruling immediately,” he added.

After President Vladimir Putin launched an attack in Ukraine on February 24, authorities blocked access to Facebook and Instagram.

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