FastNews reports that on Friday, Moscow claimed it was initiating criminal prosecution against Meta for “calling for the death” of Russians, claiming that Facebook and Instagram’s parent company had reduced regulations on violent communications aimed at Russia’s troops and authorities.
The Investigative Committee of Russia, which investigates major crimes, announced the opening of an investigation “due to illegal calls for the murder of Russian nationals by workers of the American business Meta.”
The General Prosecutor’s Office of Russia has urged that the internet behemoth be labeled “extremist” and that Instagram be restricted in the nation.
The announcement came over two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine, with Russia seeking to ban any criticism of the military campaign.
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.”
It said it had asked Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor to “restrict access” to Instagram.
Facebook and Instagram are widely used in Russia, the latter being the most popular social media platform for young Russians.
Since early March, Twitter and Facebook have been inaccessible in Russia.