The country’s Interfax news agency reported that the Russian government has added the social media giant Meta – which is the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – to their list of terrorist and extremist organisations after they banned the two services in March for “Russiaphobia”.
The classification means that banks can freeze Meta’s assets in the country.
Facebook and Instagram were removed after Meta – which is 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 their properties – but it was upheld by a court in Moscow in the summer.
Meta has fought back against allegations it promotes anti-Russian beliefs.
In the spring, they explained they were making a exception to their normal policy “in light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine” to 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 this development, the Russian embassy in the US appealed for action against the move.
Their 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.”