Russia Blocks Access to Instagram as Promised
Updated · Mar 15, 2022
The total ban follows an earlier announcement made last week by authorities.
Ban Goes Into Effect
Russia has followed through on its decision to block access to Instagram, with the ban kicking into effect on Monday.
The platform’s users had earlier been informed that would cease to operate from midnight on Sunday after parent company Meta decided to allow calls for violence against Russian soldiers in Ukraine. According to the tech giant, it would not stop Ukrainians from "expressing their resistance and fury at the invading military forces".
A message from the state communications regulator Roskomnadzor tanked Meta’s move.
“As you know, on March 11, Meta Platforms Inc. made an unprecedented decision by allowing the posting of information containing calls for violence against Russian citizens on its social networks Facebook and Instagram,” the statement read.
Roskomnadzor went on to announce a 48-hour “transition period” leading to the beginning of the ban. The censor warned users to save their data and say goodbye to followers.
Russia had previously banned Facebook and Twitter as it moves towards even more isolated internet access for citizens. Regulators asked users of those platforms to switch over to Russian social networking alternatives.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media services in the world. Russia, with about 80 million users, makes up a significant portion of the platform’s profiles.
Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, condemned the ban on Twitter, saying it would cut users “off from one another, and 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.— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) March 11, 2022
In response to the bans on the major social networks, Russians are increasingly switching to VPN services. Downloads of the censor-bypassing services have spiked across app stores as citizens seek to reestablish connections and get independent news.
Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.
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