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Russians start receiving threats of punishment for Instagram and Facebook posts

Tuesday, 11 October 2022, 17:48

OLENA ROSHCHINA — TUESDAY, 11 OCTOBER 2022, 17:48

The Russian Prosecutor's Office has begun handing citizens of the Russian Federation warnings about the inadmissibility of "extremist activities", threatening them with prosecution for posts on Facebook and Instagram social media owned by the company Meta.

Source: Pavel Chikov, head of Agora human rights organisation; TV channel Dozhd

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Quote from Chikov: "The Prosecutor's Office has started handing Facebook and Instagram users warnings about the inadmissibility of extremist activities. The prosecutor threatens administrative and criminal sanctions for posting there."

Details: The Lefortovo Interdistrict Prosecutor's Office of Moscow handed a Facebook and Instagram user a warning about the inadmissibility of violating the law on countering extremism.

The document published by Chikov, without giving the addressee's name, states that on 21 March 2022, the Tver District Court of Moscow declared the Meta company, which owns Instagram and Facebook, to be an extremist organisation.

Therefore, according to the warning, "taking action to attract users" to these social media and "posting materials there, including advertising," can be considered in Russia to be "a form of participation in the activities of an extremist organisation and inclination to participate in it."

The Prosecutor's Office notes that the addressee of the warning did not stop posting materials on Instagram after 21 March, and so the prosecutor claims to be trying to prevent "illegal actions containing signs of extremism."

According to the document issued on behalf of the interdistrict prosecutor, Makhmudov, in the event that the requirements set forth in the warning are not fulfilled, the person may face criminal and administrative sanctions.

 
 

In September, the Roskomsvoboda project reported that the prosecutor's office handed a similar warning to Veronika Loginova, the founder of a fashion brand and Instagram blog.

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