80 million people in Russia would lose access to Instagram Today

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Russia is all set to ban Instagram and the head Adam Mosseri is not happy about it. The move to ban Instagram in the country comes a day after Facebook allowed posts that called for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin in countries including Russia, Ukraine, and Poland, according to internal emails to its content moderators.

“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, head of Instagram, wrote on Twitter.

Previously, a Meta spokesperson had said that the company had made temporary allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate Facebook’s hate speech guidelines, such as ‘death to the Russian invaders. However, the spokesperson said that it would not allow calls for violence against Russian civilians.

Post Meta’s new guidelines, Russia’s media regulator said that it would restrict access to Instagram by Monday because it contains “calls to commit violent acts”. Moscow has also taken steps to block access to Twitter as well as the other social media networks, including Facebook.

“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 Russian communication agency said 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.”

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Instagram will not be operational in Russia starting Monday, i.e, March 14. A Russian agency confirmed that only Facebook and Instagram will be banned in the country, but the ban will not extend to WhatsApp.