Nov 26, 2023 - World

Russia puts Meta spokesperson on wanted list

 Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during an awarding ceremony at the Novo-Ogaryovo State Residence, on November 15, 2023, west of Moscow, Russia.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, earlier this month. Photo: Contributor/Getty Images

Russia's interior ministry has added Meta spokesperson Andy Stone to a "wanted" list, according to a government online database.

Why it matters: Russian state news agency Tass reported Sunday that Meta communications director Stone was "wanted under an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation."

  • It's an apparent escalation of the Kremlin's action against Meta that includes adding the parent company of Facebook and Instagram to a list of "terrorists and extremists."

Details: A Russian court ordered the arrest of Stone in absentia earlier this month for "aiding terrorism," according to Mediazona, an independent Russian news outlet co-founded by two members of Russian protest band Pussy Riot, which first reported on the listing.

  • The details of the case against Stone were not immediately disclosed.

The big picture: Meta announced after Putin's forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 that it was limiting the reach of Russian state-sponsored media on its platforms.

Go deeper: Russian disinformation shies away from Facebook: Report

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