In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the Russian government has banned the Meta-owned Instagram app. Before Instagram, Russia had also banned Facebook. Apart from Facebook and Instagram, TikTok is also partially banned in Russia, meaning that users can watch but not upload new videos, despite the fact that apps like YouTube and Telegram are still widely used in the country.
In the midst of the bans, VPNs became a powerful weapon.
Russia, like all other governments around the world, has banned social media, but Russians are using it in the same way that people in other countries are using it despite the ban. The demand for Virtual Private Network (VPN) services increases after a site is blocked, and the same is true in Russia. Let us tell you that many countries around the world, including China and India, use VPN on a large scale. The demand for VPN in Russia has increased by 668 percent since the ban.
Why was social media banned in Russia?
Meta announced that it was changing its hate speed policy for Russian users in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Following this change, Russian Facebook users will be able to post violent and provocative posts against Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian government has now banned both Meta’s apps, Facebook and Instagram, as a result of this policy change. According to Russia’s independent news agency Interfax, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has asked a Russian court to classify Meta as an extremist organisation.
Popular companies that have ceased operations in Russia
Meta: Russian state media are unable to use Meta’s Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp accounts. Aside from that, all of these platforms’ monetization has been halted in Russia.
Google has removed advertisements from the YouTube channel of Russian state media.
TikTok: In Europe, TikTok has disabled access to accounts associated with RT and Sputnik. Apart from that, Tiktok users are unable to create new videos.
In the midst of the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Twitter has banned advertising.
TSMC: Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC has banned the sale of all chipsets in Russia, including Elbrus-branded chips made in the country.
Netflix is a video-on-demand service. Netflix has removed Russian government television channels from its platform, including Channel One, but the company has not stopped doing business with Russia.
Intel is a major chipmaker. Intel’s chip sales in Russia have ceased.
Aside from these companies, AMD, Dell, Uber, Bolt, Snapchat, Viber, Roku, Microsoft, Nokia, and Apple have all stopped operating in Russia.