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Russia Is Moving To Label Facebook & Instagram Parent Meta An 'Extremist Organization'

Meta just relaxed its rules around hate speech.

Global Staff Writer
Facebook and Instagram apps. Right: Vladimir Putin.

Facebook and Instagram apps. Right: Vladimir Putin.

Russia is moving to declare Facebook and Instagram parent Meta an "extremist organization," after the company lifted rules around discussing violence for some countries.

Russia is also reportedly blocking access to Instagram, just as it's done with Facebook and Twitter.

Russia opened a criminal case against Meta after it allowed users to call for violence against Russian troops and President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reports.

This means users can now post things like "death to the Russian invaders," which would usually break Meta's rules.

However, there are limitations on what can be said, according to Meta.

"In light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, we made a temporary exception for those affected by the war, to express violent sentiments toward invading armed forces," a Meta spokesperson told BBC.

Since then, Russia has demanded the U.S. stop Meta's "extremist activities" and is now taking it a step further by trying to formally label the tech company as an "extremist organization."

Russia's investigative committee accused Meta of permitting "illegal calls for murder and violence against citizens of the Russian Federation" in a statement.

This move would further isolate Russia from the rest of the world amid a growing list of companies that are boycotting the country.

The move also affects businesses, celebrities and influencers from Russia who rely on the apps.

WhatsApp, which is also owned by Meta, is not affected, as it is considered a means of communication rather than a way to post information.

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