Russia Blocked Instagram for 80 Million UsersRussia | March 14, 2022, Monday // 09:48| views
Real-time data from NetBlocks confirms the restriction of Instagram in Russia on the night of Sunday, March 13, 2022. Roskomnadzor blocked the platform for sharing photos and videos, having previously done the same with Facebook and Twitter.
The decision announced a few days ago was commented by Instagram leader Adam Mosseri: “The decision will separate 80 million people from each other and the rest of the world, as approximately 80% of people in Russia follow an Instagram account outside their country. This is wrong.”
Earlier in the day, March 11, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office asked the court to declare the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, Meta, to be recognized as an extremist organization and to ban its activities in Russia. It is unclear whether WhatsApp - one of Russia's most popular messaging apps - will be blocked. It is also owned by Meta.
Russia's state prosecution is making the move, explaining the existence of evidence of a crime, namely the propaganda of terrorism and incitement to hatred and enmity with the threat of violence. The allegation is about the company's permission for consumers to call for the “death of the Russian invaders” without their publications being restricted. The permit - valid only on Ukrainian territory and granted because of the war that Russia started there on February 24 - does not apply to calls for violence and the death of Russian civilians.
In response to the reaction of the Russian prosecutor's office, Meta issued a statement stating that the company's policy is aimed at protecting the right of people to speak freely as an expression of self-defense against the military invasion of their country.
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