15 Mar 2022 15:38

Meta's minority shareholders not to be held liable if company is branded extremist - Duma's Khinshtein

MOSCOW. March 15 (Interfax) - Minority shareholders of the Meta company will not be held liable if a court brands the company as extremist, Chairman of the State Duma Information Policy Committee Alexander Khinshtein said.

"I have discussed the issue with both Roskomnadzor and the Prosecutor General's Office. The common stance of these colleagues is that no, minority shareholders will not bear liability as they have no influence on the company's management and do not belong to the group of decision makers," Khinshtein said on DumaTV on Tuesday.

"Those who have a stake, if this stake is not a controlling or blocking one, and those who are not part of management, will not be held responsible either," he said.

At the same time, "those who make decisions, members of the Board of Directors and managers, will bear responsibility," Khinshtein said.

According to Khinshtein, users will not be held responsible for their Instagram activity even if the social network is branded extremist, yet there will be responsibility for posts that break the law.

"A user who publishes kitty photos on the social network will not bear any responsibility, at least by current laws, but there will be liability if any posts violate the law, such as fakes or anti-constitutional calls," Khinshtein said.

He thus commented on users' fears they would be held responsible for posts on Instagram if the social network is designated as extremist.

Every case will be individually examined if necessary, he said.

As it became known on March 11 that Facebook and Instagram would temporarily allow users in certain countries to call for violence against Russian soldiers, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office filed a motion with a court for branding Meta as an extremist organization and banning its operation in Russia.

Meta owns the Facebook and Instagram social networks, WhatsApp and the Facebook Messenger.

The Russian Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against Meta employees on counts of public calls for extremism and abetting terrorism.