According to the country’s Interfax news agency, the Russian government added Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, to a list of terrorist and extremist organisations on Oct.11.

The announcement came after Meta said it would allow posts like “death to Russian invaders” but not serious threats against civilians.

Due to “Russophobia,” the two platforms were banned in Russia in March 2022.

The ban was upheld by a Moscow court in June despite Meta’s appeal. 

Accusations that the US technology powerhouse fosters anti-Russian sentiment have been rejected.

An official from Meta told United Kingdom’s BBC News in March that the company was temporarily deviating from its standard practises. They stated: “In light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine,” to allow those affected to “express violent sentiments towards invading armed forces.”

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A comment from the business regarding the most recent events has been requested. 

Banks in Russia have the authority to freeze Meta’s funds if it is added to a list of extremist organisations, according to Interfax.

 A few months ago, the battle lines between Russian and Western technology platforms were established.

Because of the well-liked Russian clone, VK, Facebook has not been needed as much as it might have been. 

This new official “terrorist” label could alter that, however. The use of Instagram, even when using a VPN, might now be illegal.

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Also undetermined is whether WhatsApp is covered by the designation. The most widely used messaging app in Russia would be banned, effectively cutting off the population from the external world.

Additionally, Russia has imposed restrictions on Twitter.

The Taliban and Russian opposition parties are among the additional organisations on the list. 

Since annexing Ukraine, Russia has been subject to strict economic sanctions and international isolation. In response, Russia has cracked down on the channels of dissent. It has passed laws that place restrictions on what can be reported in the nation and are punishable by lengthy prison terms.

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The Novaya Gazeta newspaper, one of Russia’s few still-operating independent news outlets, ended operations in March after being issued cautions by the country’s media regulatory body.

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