Russia has banned Instagram, effectively locking out a majority of the country’s population from the photo sharing platform. The country has already banned a number of social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter in an effort to control the flow of information regarding the war with neighbouring Ukraine.
Last week, Meta announced that it would relax its hate speech policy to allow Facebook and Instagram users from other countries to call for violence against Russian soldiers and President Vladimir Putin. In a retaliatory move, the country decided to ban the platforms, cutting off communication between Russia and the rest of the world.
“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.” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said after Russia announced the ban.
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.
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) March 11, 2022
Russian influencers on Instagram sent out farewell messages to their followers over the weekend, advising people to follow them on other platforms or use VPN software to circumvent the government’s ban.