Mark Zuckerberg’s social networks were earlier banned in the country before this month, but now a court in Moscow has escalated matters.
It’s the first time the broad law has been used against a foreign tech company.
In the history, it was reserved for the likes of the Taliban and Islamic State.
Prosecutors concluded that the company” intentionally allowed hate speech against Russians, which created an optional reality in which any pro-Russian position was suppressed and hate was incited”.
But WhatsApp, which Meta also owns, has managed to avoid being banned.
With an estimated 67million users a year ago, some experts told Wired they suppose WhatsApp was spared to stop an roar among Russians.
By comparison, investigator Insider Intelligence estimates that Facebook had just7.5 million users in the country.
“The decision doesn’t apply to the exertion of Meta’s messenger WhatsApp, due to its lack of functionality for the public dissolution of information,“the court declared.
Recent data suggests that rival Telegram has overhauled WhatsApp as Russia’s most popular messaging app.
Despite the ban on Facebook and Instagram, the court said anyone in Russia caught entering them will“not be sued”.