Russia Lists Meta Employee as Wanted After Branding Firm 'terrorist'

Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Meta, who has been listed in Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs database since February.

Russian media outlets reported on Sunday that Stone is wanted for unspecified terrorism charges, according to Mediazona, an independent Russian outlet. State news agency TASS confirmed he is wanted under the Russian Criminal Code.

Stone, who has worked as the communications director for Meta since 2014, was reportedly arrested in absentia by a Russian court in mid-November, although details of his case remain undisclosed.

This development adds to the ongoing tension between Russia and Meta. Before the Ukraine war, Facebook and Instagram, both Meta products, were popular in Russia but are now banned, and Meta has been labeled a “terrorist” and “extremist” organization in Russia since October 2022. Interestingly, WhatsApp, another Meta-owned app, continues to operate in Russia.

In March 2022, Russia accused Meta of promoting “terrorist activity” for modifying its hate speech policies for Ukrainian and Polish users. Specifically, the Russian ministry referred to Stone in a press release, highlighting his announcement about Meta’s decision to allow posts calling for the death of Russian soldiers, which he described as political speech rather than real threats.

Meta has not yet responded to Business Insider’s request for comment on the matter.

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