80 million users to lose access to Instagram in Russia

Russia has banned the usage of photo sharing platform Instagram in the country effective Monday, March 14, 2022. The move comes in the wake of posts that called for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia has already banned Facebook and Twitter in the country but is yet to take a call on the messaging app, WhatsApp.

The head of Instagram Adam Mosseri took to Twitter and called the decision “wrong” and said 80 million users would lose access to Instagram in Russia from Monday.

“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.

Following Russia’s move to ban Instagram, Meta said it is ‘further narrowing its content moderation policy.

“We are now narrowing the focus to make it explicitly clear in the guidance that it is never to be interpreted as condoning violence against Russians in general,” Meta global affairs President Nick Clegg wrote in a post on the company’s internal platform, according to news agency Reuters.

“We also do not permit calls to assassinate a head of state…So, in order to remove any ambiguity about our stance, we are further narrowing our guidance to make explicit that we are not allowing calls for the death of a head of state on our platforms,” Clegg said.

However, Chegg made it clear that there would be no change in the policy of hate speech.

“Meta stands against Russophobia. We have no tolerance for calls for genocide, ethnic cleansing, or any kind of discrimination, harassment, or violence towards Russians on our platform,” he added.

There has been growing anger over social media’s role following Russia’s invasion of its neighbour Ukraine since the war began on February 24, 2022.

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