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A Russian court has declared Meta an extremist organisation but will still allow access to WhatsApp

Business Insider US
Meta bans Russian state media from running ads or monetize on its platform.
  • A Russian court on Monday declared Meta an extremist organization, according to state media.
  • The decision will ban Meta's products except for its popular chat app, WhatsApp, the report said.
  • It's the latest indication of Russia's continued isolation from the global internet. 
  • For more stories visit www.BusinessInsider.co.za

A Russian court on Monday sided with the country's Prosecutor General's Office, granting its request to officially label Meta, Facebook's parent company, an extremist organisation.

The news was reported first on Monday by the Russian state news agency TASS.

The declaration prohibits Meta from doing business in Russia, and will lead to an immediate ban on its business in Russia. The chat app WhatsApp, one of the most popular in Russia, will not be banned, according to TASS.

Representatives for Meta did not immediately return Insider's request for comment Monday.

Tensions between the Kremlin and US social-media giants have reached new heights over the last month following Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24. Social-media companies, including YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, have taken efforts to limit the spread of Russian disinformation during the conflict, leading to Russian government retaliations.

Russia previously blocked access to Facebook, Insider previously reported, after Facebook officials claimed they refused to stop fact checking posts from Russian state media. Russia later banned access to Instagram after the company said it would temporarily allow users to call for violence against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian forces.

Russians have become increasingly isolated from the global internet since their country's invasion of Ukraine, with citizens turning to VPNs and the dark web to access social-media platforms and global news outlets.

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