Authorities in Russia, after classifying Meta, owners of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp as extremist, on Sunday, put Meta platform’s spokesperson, Andy Stone on a wanted list without specifying the charges.
Russia has hugely cracked down on media and social media freedom since launching its Ukraine offensive last year and banning criticism of it.
Stone is listed on Russia’s interior ministry’s list of wanted people, without further detail.
Ripples Nigeria recalls that In October 2022, Russia listed Meta as a “terrorist and extremist” organisation, opening possible criminal investigations and fines for users in the country.
Facebook and Instagram have been blocked in Russia since the start of the Ukraine offensive and are only accessible via VPN.
X (formerly Twitter) is also banned, as well as Russian independent media critical of the Kremlin.
Before the bans, millions of Russians used applications belonging to Meta, especially Instagram, which remains hugely popular with young Russians.
In April 2022, Russia put Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a blacklist of people banned from entering the country.
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