A Moscow court has ruled to ban Facebook and Instagram in Russia, labelling the parent company of the two social networks Meta Platforms Inc. as “extremist”.
In its ruling, the Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia said that the lawsuit was aimed at protecting Russians from “a violation of their rights”, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Meta has violated its own rules by allowing posts with violent speeches towards the Russian military and has ignored more than 4,500 requests to remove fake information on Russia’s special military operation and calls for unauthorised rallies,” the prosecutors said.
The court ruling will come into effect immediately but will not affect WhatsApp.
Under the ruling, Russian media must now declare Meta an “extremist” organisation whenever it is mentioned, said a BBC report.
The designation must now be specified every time Meta is mentioned in the media, according to Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media.
Meta is also banned from doing business in Russia as the Prosecutor General’s Office and Russia’s Federal Security Service accused the social media giant of acting against Moscow and its armed forces.
Facebook has been blocked in Russia since March 4.