Russia opens criminal case against Meta for ‘calling for the murder’ of Putin

Russian government has informed that they have opened a criminal case against Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta for “calling for the murder” of Russians.

Earlier it was reported that the Kremlin had warned to shut down the activities of Meta Platforms. They said that if the operator of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp allowed users to call for violence against Russians and death to President Vladimir Putin, the said action would be prosecuted.

Reports of Meta’s emails seen by media house Reuters confirm that the social media operator has eased their rules for political speech thereby allowing posts such as “death to the Russian invaders”. Although they also confirmed that they would not call for the death of Russian civilians.

Meta has said that the temporary change aimed to allow for forms of political expression that would normally violate its rules. Its oversight board said on Friday that it was closely following the war in Ukraine, and how Meta is responding.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said it was launching an investigation “due to illegal calls for the murder of Russian nationals by employees of the American company Meta.”

Russia’s General Prosecutor’s Office also requested that the internet giant be branded “extremist” and called for Instagram to be blocked in the country.

The announcement comes after a little over two week of Russian military operation in Ukraine led by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia has also reportedly sought the ban of any criticism of the military campaign.