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Instagram banned in Russia over 'calls to violence'

picture courtesy-EPA/BBC

Russia's state media watchdog Roskomnadzor says Instagram will be blocked in the country due to "calls for violence" against Russian soldiers.

Russia is moving to label the social media giant Meta an "extremist organisation" after the company said it would temporarily allow people to post calls for Vladimir Putin's death.

Meta has reportedly sent emails to moderators that explain the company is making "allowances for forms of political expression that would normally violate our rules". However, it says it won't permit calls for violence against Russian civilians.

Meta announced it had changed its policy.

"In light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine, we made a temporary exception for those affected by the war, to express violent sentiments toward invading armed forces," a Meta spokesperson told the BBC.

Under the amended policy, users in countries including Russia, Ukraine and Poland will also be able to call for the deaths of Mr Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The temporary policy only applies to users in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine, according to Reuters news agency.

However, WhatsApp is not currently being blocked in Russia as it is a messaging platform rather than a social network.

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