Russia adds Meta to list of 'terrorist and extremist organisations'

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By Euronews
META headquarters in California, USA
META headquarters in California, USA   -   Copyright  / AFP

Authorities in Russia have taken another step to control the country's social media use.

Its financial monitoring agency, Rosfinmonitoring, has now added US giant, Meta -- the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp -- to its list of terrorist and extremist organisations.

Moscow has restricted access to Facebook and Instagram, although many Russian users still access them using virtual private networks (VPNs), demand for which skyrocketed as some Western internet services were blocked in March.

Officials have regularly said Meta's "extremist" tag does not extend to its WhatsApp messenger service.

Lawyers and digital rights groups have, however, reported that Facebook and Instagram users are being warned over some posts.

Human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov has warned that simply displaying the Instagram and Facebook logos, or advertising on those networks, could be deemed illegal under Russia's criminal code.