Meta Added to Russia’s List of ‘Extremist and Terrorist’ Organizations

Russia’s financial monitoring watchdog has ordered all of the Facebook parent's assets frozen

Image Credits: Jonathan Raa/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Russia’s federal service for financial monitoring, Rosfinmonitoring, has declared Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, formerly known as Facebook, a “terrorist and extremist” organization. The news was confirmed in an update on the service’s website on Tuesday.

Meta Platforms Inc, which owns Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, was labeled an extremist organization back in March by a decree of Moscow’s Tverskoy Court following a request from Russia’s General Prosecutor’s office. 

All of Meta’s activities and services, with the exception of WhatsApp, have since been banned in Russia as the US-based tech giant was accused of “extremist activity” for allowing hate speech directed toward Russian nationals on its platforms and refusing to remove what Moscow considered false content about the conflict in Ukraine.

With Rosfinmonitoring’s decision, Russian banks are now also obliged to freeze all of the tech giant’s assets and suspend all services to accounts belonging to it or individuals associated with it.

Meta has denied allegations of allowing Russophobia on its platforms, insisting the decision to ease hate speech restrictions against Russian nationals was temporary and implemented only in certain regions, such as Ukraine and Poland, so that people could vent their anger over the conflict. The company tried to file an appeal of the court’s decision, but it was ultimately rejected.

While Facebook and Instagram are officially banned in Russia and inaccessible without a VPN, there are currently no punishments for Russian citizens who use the services or post legal content on them.

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