Russia Adds Meta, Youth Group To 'Extremists' Registry


Russia's financial monitoring service, Rosfinmonitoring, has added U.S. tech giant Meta Platforms Inc. to its registry of "terrorists and extremists."

Rosinformonitoring said on October 11 that it also had added to the registry the Vesna (Spring) youth movement that has openly protested against Russia's ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The movement was added to the list at the request of the prosecutor’s office in the city of St. Petersburg.

In late March, a Moscow court labeled Meta Platforms an “extremist organization," outlawing its Facebook and Instagram social media platforms.

The move did not outlaw Meta's WhatsApp messaging platform since it is not a public platform.

State prosecutors filed the request after news surfaced that Meta Platforms was permitting Facebook and Instagram users in some countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers after Moscow started its full-scale aggression against Ukraine in late February.

On March 10, Meta said that as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, "we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules, like violent speech such as 'death to the Russian invaders,'" adding that it "still won't allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians."

In June, Meta's appeal against the court's decision was rejected.

Moscow has been taking moves to limit access to independent media, including social media, over the past year.

With reporting by Vedomosti and Interfax