back to article Russian court deems Instagram and Facebook as 'extremist', WhatsApp spared

Meta app's Instagram and Facebook, but not Whatsapp, were found guilty of extremist activity on Monday in Moscow's Tver Court following Meta's decision to allow expressions condoning or encouraging violence towards Russia from within the Ukraine. The ban on the social networks has already been in place since last week, when …

  1. Plest Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Hmmmm

    Putin might be a lying, scumbag, piece of crap with all the morals of pond slime....but he's got a fair point about being shot of Faceplop/Instagrab!

  2. msobkow Silver badge

    Putin lashes out at world again for not kissing his festering sphincter while he butchers people. News at 11:00.

  3. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Extremism

    How can an app be 'extremist'? I assume they mean that 'extremist' messages have been published using those apps. But 'extremism' itself is not always such a bad thing.

    After all, Jesus was an extremist for saying (I paraphrase here) 'hey folks, wouldn't it be great if everyone was just nice to each other?', and the Buddha was an extremist for saying (paraphrasing again) 'folks, the pursuit of worldly possessions is not everything, you'd probably be happier if you learnt to value people rather than luxuries'.*. And, of course, Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, Medger Evers, James Baldwin were 'extremists' for saying (paraphrasing a lot at the moment) 'hey, folks, black people are just as much people as white people and should have the same rights and respect in society'.

    But then I guess that the current regime in Russia is more concerned about suppressing the truth about what is happening in Ukraine than admitting it:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/mar/22/russia-ukraine-war-zelenskiy-urges-talks-with-putin-biden-flags-clear-sign-russia-considering-chemical-weapons-live

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-60827106

    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/russia-mod-update-mariupol-indiscriminate-shelling-limited-progress_uk_62375179e4b0f1e82c4b1885

    *Students of Christianity and Buddhism please correct me and provide more accuracy and nuance.

  4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    FAIL

    Meanwhile

    Russian courts declared the September 1939 invasion of Poland by Stalin, and his alliance with Nazi Germany from then for the following 21 months until Barbarossa in June 1941, to have never happened.

  5. rdhma
    FAIL

    "from within the Ukraine"

    Ukraine is the official full name of the country in question.

    'The Ukraine' is a term used in Russia to imply that Ukraine is part of its territory.

    1. G.Y.

      Russian has no definite article ("the")

      1. Outski Silver badge

        It sort of does.

        Here's the best article I've read about why not to use "the" Ukraine (and I'd imagine it would also apply to the Argentine).

        https://theconversation.com/its-ukraine-not-the-ukraine-heres-why-178748

        As far as I can make out, it comes down to prepositions, rather than the definite article. As that piece points out, there's a difference between being in Ohio, watching Cleveland lose again :o( , and being in the Ohio going for a swim (wouldn't advise that); Ohio is a state with acknowledged borders, whereas the Ohio is a free-flowing river.

  6. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Tokenism

    I'm assuming Facebook and Instagram are being banned because they're primarily web based (1 -> n), which makes some of the blocking a bit easier. Russia has already tried, and failed, to ban Telegram (m -> n) and doesn't want to be seen to fail again.

  7. Androgynous Cow Herd

    Putin knows the threat

    Faecesbook was a primary tool in what will be viewed by history as a concerted attack against the west via disinformation and propaganda. Many turns of events over the last 5 years or so frankly would not have been possible without the ability to effectively divide populations and then back the approach/candidates most beneficial to Russia and destabilizing to the west.

    Now, if the tables are turned in Russia, and these same methodologies are employed against the incumbents ion power, Russia could end up with it's own version of Trump in power, whilst undergoing the Russian equivalent of a Brexit.

    So Putin says NO FAECESBOOK!!

  8. DS999 Silver badge

    Perhaps

    Meta should decide if Russia is going to ban two of their platforms, that they should pull the third.

    If it is true there would be "massive backlash" from Russian citizens should WhatsApp go away, maybe making that happen would cause them to question what it is Putin is doing that has resulted in such a "massive backlash" from the west. Sure, many will believe his claims that it is all a conspiracy to destroy Russia, but some will decide to look beyond that rather flimsy excuse.

    Russia doesn't have a Great Firewall, or block VPN apps, so the truth is out there for them to find if they are sufficiently motivated.

    1. casinowilhelm

      Re: Perhaps

      They are working on their own great firewall right now, and whatsapp is used by political opponents of dodgy regimes everywhere to communicate as it's encrypted, so I don't think that would be much benefit to anyone.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Perhaps

      There are two reasons that might not work very well. The first is the blame game. If Russia forces the app to close, the government can only do so much to explain why and the protests would be against them. If WhatsApp closes on its own, the government can say that, had they had the power, the app would still be operating. They can paint the action in the same light as the other companies that have abandoned Russia and blame either the company or a different country for making it happen. This argument wouldn't be incorrect, though it would be misleading.

      The second reason is that WhatsApp allows communication using encryption, which is quite important for people inside Russia. With government crackdowns on all protesting activity and anything that looks like it might get there, anyone who is going to talk about Ukraine, let alone arrange to help in any way, needs protection from Russian surveillance. WhatsApp isn't my favorite way to get there, but it does work. Cutting it off could hurt those who use it to evade the dictators more than the dictators themselves.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: Perhaps

        If the government orders it to close they can still claim it was Meta's choice or Biden ordered them to do it or Kim Kardashian is responsible.

        Or they can say "yeah we ordered it, but that's because they were violating the law by helping spread misinformation to bring down the Russian government and cause harm to its military".

        They can say whatever they want, and all the Russian citizens who believe Putin's story that the war is a good thing will believe whatever they are told about why they can no longer use WhatsApp.

  9. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Sad

    It's sad when a Russian court reaches the correct conclusion even if their reasoning is dodgy when courts in Feraldom turn a blind eye to the Suckerberg's criminal empire.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Putin has to ask himself

    What would Hitler do?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not be charged with extremism for simply using Facebook?

    "Citizens and organizations will not be charged with extremism for simply using Facebook" .. I wouldn't count on it. When they banned Jehovah's Witnesses for extremism they said they wouldn't charge ordinary citizens who'd got involved in it, only the leaders. And guess what, they started putting random ordinary people in prison anyway, usually when the local police were short of their arrest targets and wanted an easy job. So I don't think a promise of "we won't apply this decision to ordinary people" holds any water.

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