- Russia's Prosecutor General's Office asked Meta to be labelled as an "extremist organisation."
- This would mean all Meta services, including Instagram and WhatsApp, would be cut off in Russia.
- Russia blocked Facebook last week.
- For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Russia wants to legally brand Facebook's parent company Meta an "extremist organisation," Russian state media outlet Tass reported on Friday.
The Prosecutor General's Office officially asked Meta to be labelled as an extremist organisation under Russian law and have all its activities banned in Russia, Tass reported.
Tass also said the Prosecutor General asked for an investigation into whether Meta broke laws on "terrorist propaganda" and "inciting hatred."
This marks a further escalation of tensions between the Kremlin and the US tech giant, which has been building since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia blocked access to Facebook last week, a move that Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg attributed to the fact that Meta refused to stop placing fact-checks on posts from Russian state media.
Reuters reported on Thursday Meta had created exemptions in its hate speech rules to temporarily allow Facebook and Instagram users to call for the death of President Putin, as well as violence against Russian soldiers.
Completely banning Meta's services means Russians would lose access to Meta subsidiaries Instagram and WhatsApp.
Meta did not immediately comment on the Prosecutor General's Office's statement when contacted by Insider outside of normal working hours.