New Meta* Universe in Russia

22 March 2022

Please note: Information in this publication was updated as of 28 March 2022. Please follow the link to view the update.

On March 21, 2022 the Court of Tverskoy district in Moscow resolved the case No. 02-2473/2022 related to Meta Platforms Inc.* activity on operation of Facebook* and Instagram* social network in the territory of the Russian Federation. The mentioned activity of Meta Platforms Inc.* has been forbidden as extremist.

Since Facebook* and Instagram* are commonly used in marketing activity of Russian citizens as well as in promotion of goods and services of commercial and non-commercial organization, the judgment delivered in abovementioned case may lead to the certain risks in form of imposing of administrative and/or criminal sanctions.

Lidings has analyzed the legal consequences in connection with banning of the Meta Platforms Inc.* activity, made an assessment on possible business risks and provided particular recommendations on their mitigation.

RISK

GROUNDS

RISK LVL

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.   Usage of non-payable public pages on Facebook* and Instagram*

No grounds.

Low

Can be proceed.

2.   Usage of Meta’s* (Facebook* and Instagram*) logos, links, reposts, and plugins

May be considered as offence under articles 20.3 and 20.29 of the Code of Administrative offences.

High

Please, delete all logos of Facebook* and Instagram* and Meta* from your websites and public pages in other social networks + from marketing materials (leaflets, packages, business cards, banners and etc.)

3.   Public mentioning of Facebook*, Instagram* and Meta*

May be considered as offence under article 13.15 of the Code of Administrative offences.

High

Please, include the following indications while noticing Meta* (Facebook*, Instagram*): “The activity of this organization is forbidden in the territory of the Russian Federation” / «Деятельность организации запрещена на территории РФ».

If this information mentioned several times in one text, it is allowed to use “*” and a reference below the text.

4.   Marketing

  • Direct (buying posts and goods promotion via marketing account provided by Meta*)

Such marketing payments may be considered as financing of the extremist activity under 282.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

High

Special actions required. It is highly recommended to stop any promotion activity via personal Meta* account. Cancel the scheduled promotion and transfer marketing funds out of Meta* accounts (if any).

  • Indirect (buying advertisement from bloggers, payments are transferred to bloggers directly)

Such marketing payments shall not be considered as financing of the extremist activity under 282.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

Low

Can be proceed further. No special actions required.

5.   Retroactivity

Offences under articles of the 13.15, 20.3 and 20.29 of the Code of Administrative offences are continuous. Hence, the risk of administrative liability is retroactive for previous publications as well.

High

Please, delete all possible materials (marketing leaflets, banners, posts and etc.) with Meta’s* (Facebook*, Instagram*) trademarks and logos.

Kindly note, that the official text of the court decision on case No. 02-2473/2022 has not been published on the date hereof. Also, currently Meta* is not included into the list of extremist organizations.


* The activity of this organization is forbidden in the territory of the Russian Federation.