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Instagram users in Russia will be banned from tonight

Instagram users in Russia were warned on Sunday they would be banned from midnight – after the platform changed its hate speech policy to allow Ukrainians to share messages like “Death to the Russian invaders”.

A Russian communications authority sent an email urging users to move their photos and videos off Instagram before they become inaccessible, suggesting they switch to the country’s “competitive internet platforms.”

“We must ensure the mental health of citizens, especially children and young people, to protect them from online harassment and insults,” regulator Roskomnadzor said.

Instagram’s head said the ban will affect 80 million users on the platform.

Meta, which also owns Instagram and Facebook, announced on Friday a new policy, applicable only to Ukraine, allowing calls to violence in posts about the Russian invasion of the country.

Instagram logo.
Instagram changed its hate speech policy to allow Ukrainians to share messages like “Death to the Russian invaders.”
Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images
meta logo.
Meta’s decision drew backlash in Russia, with authorities labeling the tech giant an “extremist organization.”
Chesnot/Getty Images

The company said it was wrong to prevent Ukrainians from “expressing their opposition and anger towards the invading forces”.

President Zelenskyy applauded the company on Sunday.

“War is not just military opposition [Ukraine] Country. It’s also a bitter battle in the information space,” Zelensky said wrote on Twitter. “I want to thank @Meta and other platforms that are taking an active position helping Ukrainians and standing side by side.”

But Meta’s decision drew backlash in Russia, where authorities have launched a criminal investigation into the company and prosecutors are asking a court to classify the tech giant as an “extremist organization.”

Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
“I want to thank @Meta and other platforms that are taking an active position, helping Ukrainians and standing side by side,” said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Press Office of the Ukrainian Presidency/AFP via Getty Images

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s regulator, said Sunday that the move to allow hate speech in posts about Russian armed forces violated international law.

With postal wires

https://nypost.com/2022/03/13/instagram-users-in-russia-will-be-blocked-starting-tonight/ Instagram users in Russia will be banned from tonight

JACLYN DIAZ

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