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Russia continues the battle against social networks: vetoes Instagram (and WhatsApp is saved for now)

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The Russian government has decided to ban Instagram following the news of the temporary change in its content moderation policies. Last week, both this platform and Facebook reported that they would allow posts calling for violence against the Russian military and the leaders of Russia and Belarus.

Now, from Russia they have announced that this social network will also be blocked, which is going into exile just like Facebook. This has been confirmed by the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, through a tweet.

On Monday, Instagram will be blocked in Russia. This decision will isolate 80 million people in Russia and from the rest of the world, since about 80% of people in Russia follow an Instagram account outside their country. This is a mistake,” he wrote.

“I want to be very clear: Our policies are focused on protecting people’s right of expression for self-defense in reaction to a military invasion of their country,” Meta’s chair of global affairs Nick Clegg said.

“The fact is that if we were to apply our standard content policies without any adjustment, we would now be removing ordinary content from Ukrainians expressing their resistance and out against the invading military forces, which would rightly be considered unacceptable,” He continued to declare.

“To be clear, we are only going to apply this policy in Ukraine itself. We have no dispute with the Russian people. There is no change in our policies on hate speech as it pertains to the Russian people. We will also not tolerate Russophobia or any kind of discrimination, harassment or violence towards Russians on our platform,” he assured.

WhatsApp gets rid (for now) of the veto in Russia

On Friday morning it was reported that Roskomnadzor, Russia’s state communications regulator, had started the process of banning the photo and video sharing platform Instagram and the Meta-owned messaging app WhatsApp.

However, Russia could take a step back from WhatsApp. The RIA Novosti news agency reported that this application is considered a “form of communication”, and not a platform to “publish information”, so it would not fall within that prohibition.

Russia continues its battle against the biggest social networks and intends to hit Meta with censorship. In fact, he has described this company as a “terrorist organization”. On the other hand, there are multiple companies that have closed the door to their operations in Russian territory.

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