May 25, 2022

On Monday, Russia threatened to block Meta’s Instagram and cut off access to millions of users in the country.

Instagram is popular in Russia. According to Censor Tower, it’s Meta’s second most popular app after the ubiquitous WhatsApp messaging service. The app has been installed 166 million times on the Russian App Store and Google Play since 2014, making it three times more popular than Facebook.

After Russian censor Roskomnadzor announced that the government would restrict access to the app after a 48-hour “transition period”, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri denounced Russia’s actions that would affect 80 million people in the country.

“As you know, Meta Platform Inc. On March 11, it made an unprecedented decision by allowing the posting on its social networks Facebook and Instagram of information calling for violence against Russian citizens, ”Roskomnadzor wrote on his blog on Friday. what he accused Meg of. Propaganda of violence against Russians.

Reuters reported last week that META has quietly revised its content policy in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, allowing calls for violence against Russian troops inside the country.

Nick Clegg, President of Meta Global Affairs changing the security policymarking it as a temporary change aimed at “[protect] The right of people to self-expression as an expression of self-defence”.

Clegg wrote: “The fact that if we implemented our Standard Content Policy unchanged, we would now remove content from ordinary Ukrainians expressing our defiance and anger against the invading military, which would be deemed unacceptable.”

Despite the Russian government’s strict restrictions on Instagram, power users can still find ways to hide their location by using VPNs and Tor to access blocked Western social networks. Last week, Twitter launched its censorship solution in light of Russian sanctions, redirecting users to a special version of the Tor social network.

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