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Instagram is no longer available to all Russian users

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Instagram logo (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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."

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In a blog post (opens in new tab), 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 (opens in new tab)).

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."

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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 (opens in new tab).

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He is a tech journalist based in the Philippines who has been writing about consumer tech for the past six years and has been using various Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. When he's not writing, he likes to spend time outside, stealing scenes with his phone camera.