Russia labels Meta an extremist organisation after Facebook, Instagram ban


Russia has labelled Meta an extremist organisation.

The country’s Interfax news agency reported that the Russian government have added the social media giant, which is the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to its list of terrorist and extremist organisations after it banned the two services in March for “Russiaphobia”.

The classification means that banks can freeze Meta’s assets residing in the country.

Facebook and Instagram were removed after Meta, which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, allowed posts like “death to Russian invaders” after President Vladimir Putin sent military forces into Ukraine in February.

Meta appealed the ban, which does not apply to WhatsApp, another of its properties, but it was upheld by a court in Moscow in the summer.

Meta has fought back against allegations it promotes anti-Russian beliefs.

It said it was making a exception to its normal policy “in light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine”. The exception would permit those impacted by the violence to “express violent sentiments towards invading armed forces” which has led to thousands of deaths and displaced millions of people.

Following the development, the Russian embassy in the US appealed for action against the move.

Its official Twitter account posted: “We demand that US authorities stop the extremist activities of Meta, take measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“Users of Facebook and Instagram did not give the owners of these platforms the right to determine the criteria of truth and pit nations against each other.”

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