11 Mar 2022 19:56

Facebook, Instagram advertisers may be prosecuted if Meta recognized as extremist organization - State Duma

MOSCOW. March 11 (Interfax) - Advertisers on Facebook and Instagram can be prosecuted for financing extremism if the company Meta is recognized as an extremist organization, Anton Gorelkin, deputy head of the State Duma Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications Committee and a member of the United Russia faction, said.

"If someone plans to continue using Facebook and Instagram advertising accounts despite everything, even after Meta is recognized as an extremist organization, such users can be held responsible," Gorelkin said on his Telegram channel on Friday.

A decision to recognize Meta as an extremist organization has not been made yet, and therefore "regular users of these social networks who paid them for advertising cannot be recognized as participants in an extremist organization now." "They were not involved in the activities of the organization, and therefore they have absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Only employees, top managers and founders of the company Meta can be considered involved in extremist activities after the court ruling is issued and takes legal force," Gorelkin said.

Russian State Duma Information Policy Committee head Alexander Khinshtein has confirmed that there is no threat to users of these social networks.

"Users of the social networks whose operation has been blocked in Russia have nothing to be worried about, either. One should always remember that a blogger is only a tenant in someone's house, not an owner. All responsibility for the work of a resource is borne by its owners," the parliamentarian said on his Telegram channel.

Meta's minority shareholders cannot be prosecuted for extremism, either, if it is recognized as an extremist organization, Khinshtein said.

"Because minority shareholders are not involved in the company's management and do not directly influence its policies. By the way, the same applies to large shareholders, if they are not involved in Meta's decision-making," the committee head said. "The Prosecutor General's Office and Roskomnadzor fully agree with that," he said.