*Instagram is now blocked in Russia amid the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.
The move came after the platform reportedly changed its hate-speech policy to allow Ukrainians to share messages such as “Death to the Russian invaders,” as reported by New York Daily News.
Prior to the shutdown, a Russian communications regulator suggested users remove all their photos and videos from the platform before they are no longer accessible, per the report.
“We need to ensure the psychological health of citizens, especially children and adolescents, to protect them from harassment and insults online,” regulator Roskomnadzor said.
The Instagram block affects 80 million users on the platform.
War is not only a military opposition on UA land. It is also a fierce battle in the informational space. I want to thank @Meta and other platforms that have an active position that help and stand side by side with the Ukrainians.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) March 13, 2022
Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta, which also owns Instagram and Facebook, is allowing Ukrainian users only to post calls for violence against Russians invading the country. The company said Ukrainians should be allowed to express “their resistance and fury at the invading military forces.”
Ukrainian President Zelensky applauded the move.
“War is not only a military opposition on [Ukraine] land. It is also a fierce battle in the informational space,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “I want to thank @Meta and other platforms that have an active position that help and stand side by side with the Ukrainians.”
Meanwhile, Russian influencers shared tearful videos on social media before Instagram went dark on Monday, March 14.
Here’s more from SandraRose:
Google, which owns YouTube, also blocked the video streaming platform in Russia, meaning Russian influencers are deprived of YouTube revenue. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube are flooded with videos of Russian Instagram influencers crying over lost YouTube and Instagram revenues.
“I am not afraid of admitting that I do not want to lose you. I do not know what the future holds,” said Popular reality TV star Olga Buzova, who has 23.3 million Instagram followers.
“I just shared my life, my work and my soul. I did not do this all as a job for me, this is a part of my soul. It feels like a big part of my heart, and my life is being taken away from me.”
Another IG influencer cried, “Do you still think that for me, as an Instagram blogger, this is a source of income? To me, it’s just, it’s all life, it’s the soul. It’s the one with which I wake up, fall asleep. F***ing five years in a row.