What you need to know
- Instagram is now blocked in Russia as promised.
- Russia promised last week that it would ban Instagram in the country for allowing posts urging violence against Russians.
- The decision shuts off 80 million users in Russia "from the rest of the world."
Various social media giants, including Meta and Twitter, have been shutting Russia off from the rest of the world following its invasion of Ukraine. In response, Kremlin has imposed restrictions on these platforms, with Instagram being the latest to receive the ban hammer.
As of Monday, March 14, the popular photo and video sharing platform is no longer accessible to tens of millions of users in Russia. A quick check on the internet monitoring platform GlobalCheck confirms that the service is inaccessible in the country.
It comes as no surprise after Russia's Roskomnadzor announced last week that it would shutter access to Instagram.
Russia previously blocked access to Facebook after its parent company banned Russian state-controlled media from the social networking platform.
Shortly after Russia's announcement, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri slammed the decision on Twitter, noting that it would shut off around 80 million users in Russia "from the rest of the world."
On Monday, Instagram will be blocked in Russia. This decision will cut 80 million in Russia off from one another, and from the rest of the world as ~80% of people in Russia follow an Instagram account outside their country. This is wrong.March 11, 2022
In a blog post, the country's information and telecommunications watchdog said the latest move was in response to Meta's change to its hate speech policy allowing Facebook and Instagram posts that call for violence against Russian soldiers (via Reuters).
Russia also designated Meta as an extremist organization for its policy change. Meta's president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, defended the move, saying it's meant to protect "people’s rights to speech as an expression of self-defense."
Responding to reports that the Russian government is considering designating Meta as an extremist organization for its policies in support of speech: pic.twitter.com/Y8sUbZDSMLMarch 11, 2022
Prior to enforcing the ban, Roskomnadzor gave users 48 hours to migrate their photos and videos to other social networks available in Russia as well as notify their subscribers.
It remains unclear whether Russia will ban WhatsApp, another Meta platform, in the country.
That said, Facebook and Instagram can still be accessed in the country using any of the best VPN services.
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Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.