Russia is keeping its promise to block Instagram throughout its territory. The country’s media regulator, Roskomnadzor, had announced the measure last Friday, in response to Facebook’s decision to allow messages in some countries in support of violence against Russia and its soldiers, in the framework of the Ukraine war. .
The entry into force of the measure has been confirmed this Monday by the Internet monitoring service GlobalCheck, which indicates that “the social media platform is inaccessible to the vast majority of the country’s population.” For his part, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, said that the blockade in Russia will affect 80 million people.
“The Russian government decided to block Instagram in Russia, separating millions of people from their loved ones and friends around the world. We know that more than 80 percent of people in Russia on Instagram follow an account from outside of Russia. The situation is scary and we are trying to do everything we can to keep people safe.”
The 48 hour countdown has ended
Roskomnadzor assured last Friday that it would give a period of 48 hours for users to “transfer their photos and videos to other social networksand notify your contacts and subscribers,” before completely restricting access to Instagram. As a consequence, many influencers said goodbye to the platform over the weekend and encouraged their followers to follow them on other platforms.
While virtual private networks (VPNs) are a valuable resource for circumventing internet restrictions, Russians are increasingly isolated from the world. In addition to the mass exodus of tech companies, the country totally banned Facebook after partially restricting it, citing more than 20 cases of “censorship” and “restrictions” on state-controlled media RIA Novosti, Sputnik, RT, Lenta.ru and Gazeta .ru.
According to the Roskomnadzor page that details the measures adopted by the body for web platforms, the blocking of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter by Russia is supported by article 15.3 of the Federal Law on Information, Technology of the Information and Information Protection.
The legislation was at the epicenter of free speech controversy when it was passed in 2016 and in 2017 when the government ordered VPN providers to automatically block sites. It is a regulation allows you to restrict any website that “violates the fundamental principles of the free flow of information”.
Statcounter’s analysis makes it possible to measure the scope of the blockades in Russia. This indicates that until February 2022, Facebook was the second most used social network, with a 17.35% market share, followed by YouTube (15.22%). Instagram (14.08) and Twitter (12.6). In first place was VKontakte (21.86%), a platform known as “Russian Facebook.”
Now it only remains to wait to find out which social platform the Russians will migrate to. Many used the aforementioned platforms not only to be in contact with other people, get information and share their opinion, but also to promote their businesses or generate income as influencers. For now, Meta’s messaging application, WhatsApp, is still active in the country.
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