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Fashion blogger Veronika Loginova, who has more than 500,000 followers on Instagram, turned to legal support for the Roskomsvoboda human rights project. The blogger received a “warning against violating the law” from the prosecutor’s office due to the use of instagram.
According to Roskomsvoboda, the warning says that “…taking actions to attract users to social networks Facebook and Instagram, as well as posting materials there, including advertising, can be considered as a form of participation in the activities of an extremist organization and inducing an indefinite circle of people to participate in it.”
The head of the legal practice of Roskomsvoboda, Sarkis Darbinyan, said that this is the first case of persecution of a Russian citizen based on the mere use of Instagram.
“This, of course, is not at all what promised prosecutors when recognizing Instagram and Facebook as extremist, when they stated in public that end users would not be affected by this decision. And now it turns out that it will completely affect, ”Darbinyan said.
He recalled that criminal article 282.2 on the activities of an extremist organization provides for up to eight years in prison for recruiting people into such an organization and up to six years for participating in it. “That is, according to the logic of the prosecutor, now any “Follow me on Instagram” threatens up to 14 years in prison!” Darbinyan added.
At the end of March, a Russian court declared Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, an “extremist organization” and banned its social networks in Russia for extremist activities.
Meta was blocked due to “posting information containing calls for violence against Russian citizens.” This happened after Meta changed its moderation policy and stopped removing threats and calls for violence against the Russian military in some countries, as well as death wishes for Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko. Later, such posts were allowed to be written only by users from Ukraine.
In August, Deputy Head of the State Duma Committee on Communications and IT Anton Gorelkin saidthat Instagram could be unblocked in Russia if the social network apologizes to the Russians and changes its policy by blocking “any calls” for the murder of Russian citizens.
Instagram ban in Russia
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