Russia’s telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor has blocked Instagram in the country at the request of the General Prosecutor’s Office due to the social network’s refusal to remove calls for violence against Russians, including the military.
“According to the demand of the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, access to the social network Instagram, owned by Meta Platforms, will be restricted on the territory of the Russian Federation. Information materials containing calls for violence against citizens of the Russian Federation, including military personnel, are being disseminated on the social network Instagram”, the regulator said, quoted by Russian agencies.
Roskomnadzor referred to the statement issued this Friday by Meta spokesman Andy Stone, saying that “The company has lifted the ban on its social networks for citizens of various countries to post information containing calls for violence against citizens of the Russian Federation, including the military.”
Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, announced this Friday that, temporarily due to the war in Ukraine, it allows users to bypass its rules of use and send messages that would normally be prohibited, such as “death to the russian invader”.
In a statement, company spokesman Andy Stone explained that the exceptions are allowed on a temporary basis due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine if they do not include death threats.credible” against Russian civilians.
However, Meta does allow calls for the death of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, issued from Ukraine, Poland and Russia itself.
The Russian government blocked Facebook in the country last week in response to restrictions Moscow believes the company has placed on pro-Russian media outlets.
A source quoted by the Interfax agency said that the Prosecutor’s Office’s request to restrict Meta’s social networks does not include WhatsApp.
“WhatsApp messenger is a means of communication, it is not used for posting, so the blocking does not concern you”, said the source.