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The Russian Federal Financial Monitoring Service added tech giant Meta to a list of “terrorist and extremist” organizations. Earlier this March, the Moscow court labelled the Facebook’s parent company a “terrorist” in Russia for spreading misinformation via its social media platforms.
In April 2022, the Russian regime banned Mark Zuckerberg and other company executives from entering Russia. Since Meta owns an array of apps and services — WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram — millions of Russian users are expected to opt out of the services. However, it is unclear how the ban will impact the existing users.
Meta labeled as extremist
The Russian internet rights organization Roskomsvoboda consulted with lawyers about the addition of Meta to the list and said that the development of the current system should not prevent users from using Meta’s services in Russia. However, the ban blocks all transactions with the company and its subsidiaries or brands within Russia.
Following the ban, Russian-based users and creators will not be able to use the platform legally or monetize their channels on Instagram or Facebook. The ban will also limit the ability to run advertisements on the platform or perform any transaction using the apps hosted by Meta.
As per reports, Russia has already started working towards removing the Russian citizens’ dependency on Facebook and its services. The Russian government has also imposed restrictions on users who post on Meta-owned apps and issued warnings to social media influencers and creators.
The Russian authorities have also begun targeting users and prominent creators in Russia using Meta-owned services like Facebook, Instagram, and other apps. They are prosecuting Meta users in Russia for posting advertisements on the platform.
In retaliation, an outlawed Russian human rights media project OVD-Info, claims the Russian government’s practice is illegal and unjustified. Moreover, it is worth noting that Facebook has stopped advertising campaigns in Russia since March 2022.
The west has also taken steps against Russian social media platforms and removed the VKontakte apps (Russian online social media and social networking service) from the Apple App Store.
The Russian internet agency Roskomnadzor has requested answers from the American tech company and accused it of imposing discriminatory limitations, even though this was simply a move to comply with sanctions against Russia.