Before Instagram was banned in Russia on Monday, the laments of Russian social media influencers could be heard throughout the internet. After allegations that the network was being used to incite violence against Russian residents and military personnel, Russian state media authorities followed through on their promise to prohibit Instagram.
As part of President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on social media and news outlets like the BBC, Russia has already barred access to Facebook (owned by Meta Platforms, which also owns Instagram) and restricted access to Twitter, as well as criminalised the intentional spread of what Moscow considers to be “fake” reports.

Russian influencers are in tears as Russia bans Instagram

Many Russian influencers expressed sorrowful goodbyes to their admirers before urging them to relocate to alternative platforms such as Telegram and VK, which are still legal in Russia. A video of a Russian influencer claiming to be in the “initial stages of mourning” over the Instagram ban was uploaded by NEXTA, a Belarusian news source. (The sad influencer has been identified as Karina Nigay, a fashion blogger with nearly three million Instagram followers, according to multiple reports.)

“Do you think that for me, as an Instagram influencer, this is a source of income?” the influencer in the video shared to NEXTA, in her native language. “To me, it’s all life. It’s the soul. It’s the one thing with which I wake up, fall asleep. F–ing five years in a row.”

Others, like Valeria Chekalina, an Instagram influencer with 10.5 million followers, took a more discreet approach, writing in Russian in her bio “Instagram is no more,” with an emoji of a grieving face. She also stated that she would be posting her next stuff on Telegram and VK.
Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, turned to Twitter to allege that the ban will isolate 80 million Russian Instagram users from the rest of the world.

After Meta Platforms amended its policy to allow users in specific countries to call for violence against Russians and Russian soldiers in the context of the Ukrainian incursion, Instagram and other social media platforms were banned. Throughout the Ukrainian invasion and throughout history, Russians have used Instagram to express their opposition to the conflict.

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