Russia charges Meta, Google with 'inciting' war as social-media friction grows

Mar. 01, 2022 12:19 PM ETMeta Platforms, Inc. (META), GOOGLGOOG, BDNCE, TWTR, ZM, YY, AMZN, PINSBy: Jason Aycock, SA News Editor597 Comments

Ukraine and Russia conflict.

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Friction continues to grow between Russia and leading U.S. tech names, with Russia's Foreign Ministry calling for a way to hold companies like Facebook parent Meta Platforms (FB -2.3%) and Google (GOOG -0.6%, GOOGL -0.6%) responsible for "inciting war."

Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine battles, Interfax reported that Russia's ministry urged a system for accountability for social media names as skirmishes between Russia and the companies continue to mount. The prime ministers of Poland and the Baltics (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) have called on Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter (TWTR -1.5%) to block Russian propaganda channels, Ukrainian minister Oleksandr Tkachenko says.

Russia's communications regulator, Roskomnadzor, has accused Facebook of "censorship" and acted to slow Facebook's access to Russian users (after Facebook worked to limit access to accounts of Kremlin-backed media).

Tuesday's news follows closely on the prospect that Internet companies including Meta and Google face possible punishment for failing to open local offices, among other measures that Russia legally required. Social media companies with more than 500,000 daily users are required to open local offices or face restrictions as harsh as outright bans.

Of 13 companies that fit that threshold, only a few appear to have complied with the local-office requirement (Apple, Spotify and Rakuten's Viber). Six others complied in part but failed to open a local office, including Google, Meta, Twitter, TikTok (BDNCE), Zoom (ZM -4.9%) and Likee (YY -1.3%) - and four companies have made no move to comply at all (Discord, Twitch (AMZN -1.1%), Telegram and Pinterest (PINS -2.7%)).

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