By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Russia has put the spokesman of US-based social media giant, Meta in the country’s wanted persons’ list without disclosing further details.
Andy Stone appeared on the list prepared by the Interior Ministry on Sunday, but his offence was not mentioned.
Moscow has branded Meta, owners of Facebook and Instagram “extremist” since its war with Ukraine broke out last year.
This is one of the series of clampdowm launched on media and social media as well as dissenting voices critical of Russia’s “special military operations” in Ukraine.
In October 2022, Russia listed Meta as a “terrorist and extremist” organisation, opening possible criminal investigations and fines for users in the country.
Before then, Russia had in April 2022 put Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on a blacklist of people banned from entering the country.
Facebook and Instagram have been blocked in Russia since the start of the Ukraine offensive but still accessible via Virtual Private Network (VPN).
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 among the Russian young population.