Meta’s Andy Stone Among Those Wanted by RussiaNovember 26, 2023
The latest development in the ongoing information war between Russia and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, involves Meta spokesperson Andy Stone. Stone has been placed on Russia’s “wanted” list, following the country’s classification of Meta as a “terrorist and extremist” organization. The Russian interior ministry maintains an online database that lists Stone as wanted on unspecified criminal charges, dating back to February 2022.
This escalation comes after Meta announced a temporary suspension of some hate speech policies in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The policy change was intended to allow for statements such as “death to the Russian invaders,” while still prohibiting “credible calls for violence against Russian civilians.” However, Russia interpreted this as inciting violence and subsequently blocked access to Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter), while also banning Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg from entering the country.
In addition to Stone, other individuals on Russia’s wanted list include Ukrainian pop singer Jamala, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, and Pussy Riot member Lyusya Shtein, as the country continues to crack down on independent media and critical speech in the midst of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.