The temporary change of the hate speech policies carried out by Meta Platforms (formerly Facebook Inc.) for its Facebook and Instagram platforms in this last week, has had a response from the Russian government.
According to Reuters, the movement of Meta opens the possibility that the citizens of some territories can openly express their hatred of Russian soldiers in the context of the war in Ukraine, even wishing the death of both Russian President Vladimir Putin and of the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, but not of Russian citizens.
Offensive against foreign digital platforms
In this regard, the Russian government is now turning its eyes to Instagram so that, through the national Internet regulator, it can establish access restrictions, considering Instagram as the platform that is being used for the distribution of informative materials containing appeals to commit to violent acts against Russian citizens, including soldiers.
According to Roskomnadzor:
According to the requirement of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Russian Federation, access to the social network Instagram (owned by Meta Platforms, Inc.) in the Russian Federation will be limited.
The social network Instagram distributes informational materials containing calls to commit violent acts against citizens of the Russian Federation, including military personnel.
The new restriction comes at a time when the Russian government is tightening its control over information, to the point of having recently launched a law against false information, which includes penalties of up to 15 years in prison for those who spread misinformation, as understood by the Russian government, of the war conflict.
This has led to international media and information professionals displaced in Russia having to cease their activity in that territory to avoid major problems.
As pointed out in TechCrunch, it will be a matter of a couple of days for both mobile phone operators and fixed Internet access to block access to Instagram, which will also be added to the block previously carried out on Facebook.