Russia has officially classified the US giant Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, as a " terrorist and extremist " organization, paving the way for lawsuits against its users.
Meta was included in the list of "terrorist and extremist" organizations of the Russian financial surveillance service, the AFP news agency found on the portal of that government body on Tuesday.
Users cannot access Meta social networks
In March, a Russian court had declared Meta "extremist" and its two main social networks, Instagram and Facebook, blocked in Russia.
On March 10, Meta announced that platforms could allow posts that included messages such as "death to Russian invaders" but not credible threats against civilians, though it later clarified that this would only apply to users posting from Ukraine.
Since March, Internet users have not been able to access Instagram or Facebook from Russia, which is why many in that country use virtual private networks (VPNs) to access social networks.
Instagram is very popular in Russia and used to be a key platform for advertising and sales.
Billions of people use Meta apps around the world.
The Russian body's decision places the US company on the same level as far-right nationalist groups, foreign terrorist organizations and opposition groups from Russia.