Technology

Facebook now ILLEGAL in Russia as Kremlin accuses Meta of ‘extremist activity’

FACEBOOK and Instagram have been declared virtually ILLEGAL to use in Russia, while the Kremlin scrambles to keep the bloodshed in Ukraine secret.

Mark Zuckerberg’s social networks were banned in the country earlier this month, but now a court in Moscow has escalated the matter.

The verdict affects both Facebook and Instagram – but not WhatsApp

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The verdict affects both Facebook and Instagram – but not WhatsAppPhoto credit: AFP

Owner Meta was found guilty of “carrying out extremist activities” against Russia.

It is the first time the sweeping law has been used against a foreign technology company.

In the past it was reserved for the Taliban and the Islamic State.

Prosecutors concluded that the company “deliberately allowed hate speech against Russians, creating an alternate reality in which any pro-Russian position was suppressed and hatred fomented.”

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According to the Russian state press agency, Meta’s lawyer argued that it was not an extremist organization and was against Russophobia.

But WhatsApp, which also owns Meta, managed to avoid a ban.

With an estimated 67 million users last year, some experts said Wired They believe WhatsApp was spared to prevent an outcry among Russians.

In comparison, researcher Insider Intelligence estimates that Facebook had just 7.5 million users in the country.

Instagram’s user base is apparently far higher at 80 million.

“The decision does not apply to the activities of Metas Messenger WhatsApp due to the lack of functionality for public dissemination of information,” the court said.

Recent data suggest that rival telegram has overtaken WhatsApp as Russia’s most popular messaging app.

Despite banning Facebook and Instagram, the court said anyone in Russia caught accessing them “will not be prosecuted.”

WhatsApp avoided getting banned

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WhatsApp avoided getting bannedCredit: Alamy

What is happening between Russia and Ukraine?

RUSSIA and Ukraine have been technically at war since 2014.

Ukraine was allied with Russia as part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991, after which it became an independent state.

Both nations remained closely linked – but Ukraine gradually began to distance itself and seek deeper ties with the West.

The trigger for the open conflict was the Ukrainian revolution in 2014 – when an uprising toppled the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.

Vladimir Putin’s troops responded by annexing the Crimea region from Ukraine – a move widely condemned in the West.

The conflict then escalated when pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine took up arms against the state.

Russia supported the separatist forces that formed breakaway republics in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Putin’s forces then launched a military incursion into those regions as they supported the rebels.

Russia continues to hold Crimea – and claims the region voluntarily joined them after a referendum.

Seven years have now passed and the war in Donbass remains at a stalemate.

It is estimated that around 14,000 people were killed in the conflict, including more than 3,000 civilians.

Ukraine and the rebels signed a new ceasefire in July 2020 – but clashes have steadily increased again throughout 2021.

In other news, the new Harry Potter video game Hogwarts legacy will feature some familiar faces, despite being set hundreds of years before most of the characters were even born.

A major Mars mission to find out if life could have ever existed on the planet delayed by up to six years at best, as Europe scrambles to replace Russian parts.

Internet users were asked not to use a popular piece antivirus software for fear it could be exploited by the Kremlin to spy on or launch cyberattacks.

And Instagram might be planning to bring back a way to see what you are friends like on the platform.


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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8552056/facebook-instagram-illegal-russia-extremist-activity/ Facebook now ILLEGAL in Russia as Kremlin accuses Meta of ‘extremist activity’

Fry Electronics Team

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