Russia labels Facebook parent company Meta ‘extremist’

A Russian court has labelled Meta Platforms Inc an “extremist organisation”, banning the activities of the United States company on Russian territory.

Moscow’s Tverskoi District Court on Monday upheld a lawsuit filed by Russian state prosecutors, the court’s press service said in a statement, which accused the tech giant of tolerating “Russophobia” during the conflict in Ukraine

The court said the ban “does not apply to the activities of Meta’s messenger WhatsApp”.

Meta, formerly known as Facebook, did not immediately comment on the decision. Lawyer Victoria Shagina said in court that the company was not carrying out extremist activities and stood against Russophobia, the Interfax news agency reported.

Access to Meta’s flagship platforms Facebook and Instagram had already been partially limited amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Moscow took action after Facebook restricted Russian state media’s ability to earn money on the social media platform and limited access to the RT and Sputnik news outlets across the European Union.

Instagram was blocked after Meta outlined a moderation policy allowing social media users in Ukraine to post messages urging violence against Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Russian troops.

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