Russia has recently notified to all the Instagram users that the service will cease from midnight on Sunday after its owner Meta Platforms said last week that it would allow social media users in Ukraine to post messages like “Death to the Russia invaders.”
A message via email from the state communications regulator notified people to move their photos and videos from Instagram before it was shut down. It encouraged people to change it to Russia’s own “competitive internet platforms”.
Meta, which also holds Facebook, stated on Friday that the temporary change in its hate speech policy applies only to Ukrainians, in the wake of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
The company mentioned it would be wrong to stop Ukrainians from “showing their resistance as well as fury at the invading military troops”.
The decision attracted a lot of outrage in Russia, where authorities have opened a criminal investigation against Meta and prosecutors on Friday while asking the court to designate the U.S. tech giant as an “extremist organisation.”
Meanwhile, the head of Meta owned Instagram said that the halt will affect 80 million users. Russia has already imposed a ban upon Facebook in the nation in response to what it said were restrictions of access to Russian media platforms.
At the same time, the message to the Instagram users describes the decision to allow calls for violence against Russians as a breach of the international law.
“We need to assure about the psychological health of citizens, especially children as well as adolescents, to protect them from harassment & insults online,” it stated, explaining the decision to close down the platform.