Meta spokesperson Andy Stone is on Russia’s “wanted” list, the latest twist in an information war playing out alongside the invasion of Ukraine.
Russian authorities classified Meta as a “terrorist and extremist” organization last month, and on Sunday Russian state agency Tass and independent news outlet Mediazona reported that Stone had been placed on the list, citing an online database that Russia’s interior ministry maintains.
Stone is wanted on unspecified criminal charges, according to the database, which does not list details of the allegations. He had been on the list since February 2022, Mediazona stated.
That’s when Russia invaded Ukraine and Stone announced a temporary suspension of some of Meta’s hate speech policies to allow for statements such as “death to the Russian invaders” that would normally violate the rules, while still forbidding “credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.”
Russia interpreted the policy as inciting violence against Russians. Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, have all been blocked in Russia as the Kremlin squelches independent media and critical speech in general. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been formally banned from entering the country.
Last week, Russia placed pop singer Jamala, the Ukrainian 2016 Eurovision song contest winner, on the list for allegedly disseminating false information about the war. Others on Russia’s growing wanted list include U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Pussy Riot member Lyusya Shtein, according to Reuters.
With News Wire Services