After Meta allowed posts calling for violence against "Russian invaders," Russia is considering banning Instagram

After parent company Meta said it would temporarily allow users affected by the war in Ukraine to write posts calling for violence against "Russian invaders," the Russian government announced Friday that Instagram would be banned in Russia.

Roskomnadzor, Russia's state media regulator, said in a statement that Instagram users will have until midnight on March 14 to transfer their photos and videos to other platforms. Last week, the country blocked access to Facebook and Twitter.

According to Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, the decision will have an impact on 80 million users. "This is wrong," he said in an emotional video posted to Instagram, arguing that banning Instagram would "cut off millions of people from loved ones and friends all over the world."

"The situation is terrifying," he said, adding that "we're doing everything we can to keep people safe." He urged users to make their accounts private, stated that users would no longer be able to see each other's follower lists for security reasons, and stated that encrypted chats would be available in Russia and its environs.

According to a Meta spokesperson, the removal of the violent speech ban was announced to allow "those affected by war, to express violent sentiments toward invading armed forces."

The policy change, according to the spokesperson, protects "voice and expression for people who are facing invasion." Normally, Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, does not allow posts that are violent in nature.

According to reports from Interfax, Russia's independent news agency, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office has asked a Russian court to classify Meta as an extremist organization.

Nick Clegg, Meta's President of Global Affairs, responded to the allegations on Twitter, saying that Meta had no prejudice against Russians and would not tolerate Russophobia on their platforms.

Clegg stated, "This is a temporary decision made in extraordinary and unprecedented circumstances." "We'll keep an eye on the situation in the coming months."

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