A court in Moscow recognized US-based Meta Corporation an extremist organization. The court has thus officially banned Facebook and Instagram in Russia, TASS reports.
The ruling came as a move to uphold the claim from the Office of the Prosecutor General to ban company's activities in Russia in connection with extremist activities.
The decision takes effect immediately.
“The activities of the American multinational holding company Meta Platforms Inc. to market its products - Facebook and Instagram social networks - has been prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation on the grounds of extremist activities. The decision does not apply to the activities of Meta's WhatsApp messenger service due to the lack of its functions to disseminate information publicly," the press service of the Tverskoy court of Moscow told RBC.
Earlier on March 21, representatives of Meta Corporation stated that Russian courts were not entitled to consider the relevant claim from the Office of the Prosecutor General and asked to stop the proceedings.
Meta representatives said that the company was not given enough time to prepare its position and asked for a linguistic expertise. However, the court refused to conduct lingual expertise into company's statements.
On March 11, the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia lodged a legal application to recognizing Meta an extremist organization. The agency demanded Meta be banned from operating in Russia. Later, the Investigative Committee of Russia filed a criminal case against the corporation in connection with illegal calls for violence against Russian servicemen that Meta allowed on Facebook and Instagram. The same day, it became known that the corporation decided to allow Facebook and Instagram users in a number of countries to call for violence against Russian military personnel.
A Russian fighter with call sign Rassvet (Sunrise) destroyed an Abrams tank in the area of Avdiivka, the 15th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade said