Russia’s economic monitoring agency, Rosfinmonitoring, has added US tech giant Meta Platforms Inc, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, to its list of “terrorists and extremists,” the Interfax news agency reported.
Russia banned Facebook and Instagram in late March for “extremism” after authorities accused Meta of tolerating “Russophobia” during Russia’s campaign in Ukraine.
Meta reported on March 10 that the platforms allowed statements such as “death to the Russian invaders” but not credible threats against civilians. It then said the change only affected users posting from within Ukraine.
Facebook and Instagram have been unavailable in Russia since March, but many Russians have been using VPNs to continue using the social networks.
Instagram is particularly popular in Russia and is an important advertising and sales platform.
Tuesday’s decision puts Meta on the same list as right-wing nationalist groups; foreign “terrorist organizations,” including the Taliban; and Russian opposition groups.