The decision to ban Instagram in the country comes just one day after Facebook permitted posts calling for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“In Russia, Instagram will be blocked on Monday.” This decision will isolate 80 million Russians from one another and from the rest of the world, as 80 percent of Russians follow an Instagram account outside of Russia. This is incorrect,” Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri stated on Twitter.
A Meta spokesperson previously stated that the company had made temporary exceptions for forms of political expression that would normally violate Facebook’s hate speech guidelines, such as “death to the Russian invaders.” The spokesperson, however, stated that it would not tolerate calls for violence against Russian civilians.
Following the publication of Meta’s new guidelines, Russia’s media regulator announced that access to Instagram would be restricted by Monday due to “calls to commit violent acts.” Moscow has also taken steps to restrict access to Twitter and other social media platforms, including Facebook.”On March 11, Meta Platforms Inc. made an unprecedented decision by allowing the posting of information containing threats against Russian citizens on its social networks Facebook and Instagram.” According to the Russian communication agency, “messages are circulating on the Instagram social network encouraging and provoking violent acts against Russians, as a result of which the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office requested that Roskomnadzor restrict access to this social network.”
Instagram will be unavailable in Russia beginning Monday, March 14, 2019. According to a Russian news agency, only Facebook and Instagram will be banned in the country, but not WhatsApp.