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Kremlin Declares Meta "Extremist"

FILE: Logo of Meta Platforms is seen. Taken May 22, 2022 in Davos
FILE: Logo of Meta Platforms is seen. Taken May 22, 2022 in Davos

Russia's justice ministry added Facebook-owner Meta Platforms to its register of extremist organizations on Friday, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

A Russian court earlier this year ruled Meta had engaged in "extremist activity". Moscow has restricted access to Facebook and Instagram as part of a campaign against Western social media platforms.

A court in Moscow approved the shutdown of Facebook and Instagram to Russian users because, it claims, Meta, the parent of both platforms, accused Meta of permitting “aggressive rhetoric towards Russian citizens.”

The tiff erupted shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, triggering a wave of posts by people who condemned Moscow's move.

Russian authorities said such posts, using Meta's language, “would normally violate our rules like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’”

Meta officials have argued to Russian authorities that its standards still prohibit calls for violence.

Since the Ukraine invasion, social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram have had a number of posts showing alleged Russian war crimes, including wanton attacks against civilians.

This report was prepared using data from Agency France-Press and other sources.