New Meta* Universe in Russia.The Sequel

29 March 2022
Alexey Vozzhaev
Julia Korablyova

On Monday, March 28, the full text of the decision on Meta Platforms Inc.* (No. 02-2473/2022) case was published on the official website of the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow.

The beginning of this story in our update as of 22 March 2022.

The following statements of the court are worth to be mentioned: 

  1. “Taking into account the technical features of the operation of the WhatsApp application belonging to Meta*, and due to the lack of functions for the public dissemination of information, restrictive measures were not taken against this software product”

  2. “These measures of judicial protection do not restrict the use of Meta's software products by individuals and legal entities, who and which do not participate in activities prohibited by law.”

On the basis of the abovementioned it follows that not all activities of Meta Platforms Inc.* recognized as extremist in the territory of the Russian Federation. Other products of the company (e.g., WhatsApp messenger), except Facebook* and Instagram*, can be used by both individuals and legal entities legally.

Moreover, the court directly states that all Meta Platforms Inc.* products can be used without restrictions by persons “who do not participate in activities prohibited by law”. However, this wording creates uncertainty. It is clear that "activities prohibited by law " should be interpreted in the context of the decision in full, which concerns exclusively the extremist activities of Meta Platforms Inc.* on the sale of products-social networks Facebook* and Instagram* in terms of posting, distributing and not taking measures to block materials containing calls for violent extremist actions against citizens of the Russian Federation and changes of the constitutional system. But according to verbal interpretation, any activity of individuals and legal entities prohibited by law falls under the restrictions of this decision.

It also should be noted, that neither Meta Platforms Inc.* nor Facebook* and Instagram* have been included in the lists of terrorist and extremist organizations and materials.

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