After parent firm Meta Platforms began enabling users in some countries to urge violence against Russia’s president and military, Russia’s technology regulatory body limited access to Instagram on Friday.
Because of a temporary adjustment in its hate speech policy to allow threats on Instagram and Facebook in the context of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia started a criminal prosecution against Meta on Friday and tried to have it designated an extremist group.
According to Roskomnadzor, the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Field of Telecom, Information Technologies, and Mass Communications, access to Instagram will be restricted “by order of the Russian Federation’s Prosecutor General’s Office.”
Following the invasion of Ukraine, Russia restricted Facebook access in the nation on March 4, after the network imposed restrictions on government-affiliated media outlets.
According to Statista, Instagram and Facebook each have more than 60 million members in Russia as of November.
The modification to Meta’s hate speech policy was originally reported by Reuters on Thursday, citing internal Meta emails.
The policy permits individuals in Russia, Ukraine, and Poland to advocate for the assassination of allies Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Instagram and Facebook.
It also permits incitement to violence against Russian forces in those three nations, as well as numerous others in Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and western Asia.
(Adapted from NPR.org)