Russia: wanted notice launched against Andy Stone, spokesperson for the Meta group

In Russia, a wanted notice was issued on Sunday, November 26 against the Meta spokesperson. Andy Stone is on the Russian authorities' wanted list, while Meta, the parent company of Facebook and WhatsApp, is classified as an extremist in the country.

The logo of the Meta group, the parent company of Facebook, or Instagram, at the Game Developers Conference 2023 in San Francisco on March 22 (illustration photo). AP - Jeff Chiu

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Andy Stone's name now appears in the Russian Interior Ministry's database. It already included its boss, Mark Zuckerberg, who was banned from entering Russian territory.

As early as 2022, Moscow had designated the American social media giant as a terrorist and extremist organization. Usually, this adjective is reserved for groups such as the Taliban or the Islamic State, but recently it has also been applied to Jehovah's Witnesses and the Anti-Corruption Foundation of Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin's opponent sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison.

This retaliatory measure also opens up the possibility of heavier legal proceedings against Russian users. Because even blocked, Facebook and Instagram remain popular in Russia. It is indeed VPN applications, for "virtual private network", that allow you to circumvent censorship. They are also used to access foreign news sites.

As for Andy Stone, Meta's communications director, the Russian authorities did not specify what he was accused of.

Read alsoDisinformation: Meta and TikTok in the crosshairs of the European Commission

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