Russia shutting down Instagram, according to Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies, and Mass Communications of Russia. The most recent restriction is in reaction to Facebook “temporarily” changing its policies to allow for content including violence against Russian troops and Vladimir Putin.
The ban on Facebook, which began more than a week ago, did not extend to Instagram. According to state authorities, the company’s owner Meta was asked to be labeled an “extremist organization” by the Russian government, and a criminal investigation was launched of the company.
The state regulator Roskomnadzor has announced that it will cut off access to the photo-sharing app on March 14th. Roskomnadzor posted on its Telegram account, stating that:
“Messages are circulating on the Instagram social network encouraging and provoking violent acts against Russians, in connection with which the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office demanded that Roskomnadzor restrict access to this social network,”
The agency also added:
“Roskomnadzor decided to complete the procedure for imposing restrictions on access to Instagram at 00:00 on March 14, providing users with an additional 48 hours of the transition period.”
Meta’s response to Russia shutting down Instagram
A Facebook representative didn’t immediately react to Russia shutting down Instagram, with a remark. A company representative stated Thursday that it had modified its restrictions on violent speech in order to allow for more “forms of political expression.”
In a tweet, Meta’s Nick Clegg didn’t address Instagram’s imminent ban, but he did comment on the recent regulation change, calling it “a temporary decision taken in extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances.”
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/Y8sUbZDSML
— Nick Clegg (@nickclegg) March 11, 2022
Instagram’s chief executive, Adam Mosseri, also chimed in, condemning the decision as “wrong” to halt 80 million users in a single country.
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
How to access Instagram in Russia?
Instagram users in Russia have been warned that Russia shutting down Instagram at midnight on Sunday, and communications regulator Roskomnadzor advised Instagram users to move their photographs and videos to alternative platforms before it was shut down, as well as encouraging them to switch to Russia’s own “competitive internet platforms.”