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Russia puts Meta spokesperson on wanted list

by Abbey Fenbert November 27, 2023 3:50 AM 2 min read
Meta sign at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California, Aug. 5, 2023. (Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
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Russia's Interior Ministry has placed Andy Stone, spokesperson for the tech giant Meta, on a federal wanted list, the Russian independent media outlet Mediazona reported on Nov. 26.

The ministry's database does not provide details on Stone's alleged crimes. It states only that he is wanted on a criminal charge.

While Russian state news agency TASS and Mediazona first reported Stone's status on Nov. 26, Mediazona said the Russian government quietly added Stone to the wanted list in February 2023.  

Meta is the company that owns Facebook and Instagram. Russia designated Meta as a "terrorist and extremist" organization in October 2022, after banning Facebook and Instagram in March.

Moscow claims that the company enabled calls for violence against Russians after the full-scale invasion of February 2022.

Meta announced certain temporary changes to its hate speech policy in the wake of the invasion. Stone issued a statement saying the platform would allow “forms of political expression that would normally violate [its] rules, like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’”

Stone's announcement stipulated that Meta would still ban “credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.”

Russia barred Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg from entering the country in April 2022.

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