According to GlobalCheck, Russia’s declared ban on Instagram took effect today, rendering the social media platform inaccessible to the great majority of the country’s population.
The country took moves to ban Instagram last week in response to parent company Meta’s decision to enable Facebook and Instagram users in several countries to call for violence against Russian soldiers during the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia has been gradually restricting access to online sites, including Facebook and Twitter, in order to control the flow of information about the war.
In a post last Friday, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri warned, “This decision would cut 80 million Russians off from one another, and from the rest of the world.” “It is untrue that 80% of Russians follow an Instagram account from outside their nation.”
Karina Nigay, a Russian fashion celebrity, protested the ban in a live broadcast, according to the Washington Post. Nigay stated, “This is my work.” “Imagine you’ve been dismissed from your work and aren’t getting paid at all, but you still have bills to pay for your family and, if you have subordinates, your team, and you don’t have any money to pay them.”
Over the weekend, Russian Instagram stars issued farewell messages to their fans, asking them to follow them on other platforms or use VPN software to circumvent the government’s ban.
Nigay later said that the ban will really assist Russian fashion companies. “Listen, to people who are posting all kinds of filth, all this propaganda crap, I absolutely don’t believe it,” she stated in response to viewers who sharply compared her complaints to the predicament of Ukrainians on her video.
Instagram has also provided a platform for Russians, particularly affluent billionaires and their families, to express their opposition to the conflict. Sofia Abramovich, the daughter of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, posted an anti-Putin Instagram message before deleting it, while wealthy Russian banker Oleg Tinkov called the feud “unthinkable and irresponsible.”