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Russia sentences Meta spokesperson Stone in absentia for ‘terrorism’



Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Meta, has been convicted to six years in prison by Russian authorities in absentia on charges of “terrorism” pertaining to the company’s wartime content filtering policy.

According to a report by the Moscow Times in English, Stone was found guilty of “justification” for terrorism when the parent company of Facebook modified its policies around what constitutes violent speech soon after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022.

The media outlet’s article, states that prosecutors asked for Stone to serve the maximum sentence of seven years in a maximum security facility for the offense of “justifying terrorism.”

Stone was accused of “promotion,” “public calls for,” and “justification” of terrorism after he declared in March 2022 that the parent company of Facebook and Instagram would temporarily lift its ban on violent speech for remarks against the “Russian invaders” of Ukraine.

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According to Meduza, the court ordered that Stone be “banned from administering websites for four years” in addition to his six-year prison sentence. Given that Stone lives in Washington, D.C., it’s unclear how Russia plans to implement the ruling.

Recall that on March 10, 2022, Stone declared the relaxation of speech restrictions, reportedly making him a target for Vladimir Putin‘s Russian government.

“As a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we have temporarily made allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules, like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’ We still won’t allow credible calls for violence against Russian civilians,” Stone had written.

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