Russia bans Facebook and Instagram due to lack of data localization
Russia has officially banned Facebook and Instagram starting in November due to the companies’ lack of data localization. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communications watchdog, said in a statement that the social media platforms were being blocked “in order to protect the personal data of Russian citizens.” Both Facebook and Instagram have yet to announce plans to move their servers to Russia.
This is not the first time that Roskomnadzor has cracked down on Western tech giants. In 2017, the agency blocked access to LinkedIn after the company was found guilty of violating data localization laws. More recently, Roskomnadzor threatened to block YouTube and Google if they didn’t remove a video posted by opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Russian users have been protesting the ban by using virtual private networks (VPNs) and other workarounds to access the websites.
If you fail to succeed at first, seek court orders and then try again to stop the free flow.
This seems to be the Russian government’s thinking. On Monday, March 21, the Russian government banned Instagram and Facebook from the country. It was doing so because it failed to police the ongoing and deadly Russian invasion of Ukraine. wrote TASS, a Russian state-owned media outlet that noted that WhatsApp is still available to users. This service was previously called Facebook.
“The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow Monday recognized Facebook and Instagram’s activities, owned by the American company Meta and banned their work here,” notes TASS.
Reasons for the ban: Russian authorities want all data on Russian citizens to be stored within the country
Russian authorities want all data on Russian citizens to be stored within the country, and they see Facebook and Instagram as threats to national security. Pavel Durov, the founder of Vkontakte (a Russian social media site that is very similar to Facebook) was forced to sell his company to the Russian government in 2014, and he believes that this is why Facebook and Instagram were banned in Russia.
The Associated Press confirmed TASS’s Monday article.
Monday’s court order confirms and intensifies an ongoing effort to block Russian access to Facebook. The Russian government agency responsible for censoring media declared on March 4 that it would block Facebook if the user is allegedly violating Russian law.
“On March 4, 2022, a decision has been made to block access the Facebook network (owned Meta Platforms, Inc. in the Russian Federation”),” reads the statement, which was translated partially from the Russian original by Google. “In the last days, the social network restricted access to accounts: The Zvezda TV Channel, the RIA Novosti News Agency, Sputnik and Russia Today, as well as the Lenta.ru, Gazeta.ru information resource.
We reached out to Meta for comments on the ban but did not receive an immediate response. Adam Mosseri (the head of Instagram) wrote on March 11th about the Russian government’s attempt to block Instagram access within the country.
He wrote: “This decision will cut off 80 million in Russia from one another and from the rest of of the world because 80% of Russians follow an Instagram account from outside of Russia.”
The Russian court system has officially approved the severing.
The ban could have far-reaching consequences for both social media platforms and Russian citizens
The Russian government has officially banned Facebook and Instagram. While the ban may not have a significant impact on social media users in Russia, it could have far-reaching consequences for both social media platforms and Russian businesses that rely on them.
The Russian government has been critical of Facebook and Instagram in the past, accusing them of facilitating protests against the government. In addition, some Russian businesses rely on Facebook and Instagram to reach customers abroad. The ban could hurt these businesses and limit Russians’ access to foreign markets.
Social media platforms may also struggle in Russia without Facebook and Instagram. These platforms are popular in Russia, and it is likely that they will be replaced by other, less-popular platforms. This could lead to a decline in usage of social media in Russia, which would be a setback for these platforms’ growth.