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Russian influencers were crying as their country banned Instagram, effectively putting a hard stop on their livelihoods and dismantling their social statuses overnight.
The ban came into effect on Monday, March 14, after Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine had the Kremlin claim the social media platform was causing an “incitement of violence against Russians”.
The Instagram ban was announced on March 11 after Meta, which owns both Instagram and Facebook, announced a new policy that allows calls for violence in posts about the Russian invasion into the country.
Saying death to Putin on the platforms is also acceptable.
The ban was also likely due to Moscow's limiting of its own citizens' ability to be exposed to dissenting voices found on the site.
The head of Instagram said the ban will affect 80 million users on the platform.
Before their accounts were restricted, popular public figures wept openly in their final video posts at the news of closure.
One influencer said it felt like her life “was being taken away” from her.
Russian reality TV star Olga Buzova, 36, told her 23.3 million fans, as reported by Insider: “I am not afraid of admitting that I do not want to lose you.”
“I do not know what the future holds,” she sobbed in the 7-minute video.
“I don’t know. I just shared my life, my work, and my soul. I did not do this all as a job for me — this is a part of my soul. It feels like a big part of my heart and my life is being taken away from me.”
Her posts continue to be accessible to people outside of Russia, but she is unable to use Instagram's services once the ban was enacted.
An unidentified Russian beauty blogger also wept at the news of the ban.
Footage of her crying was posted to Twitter by news channel Nexta TV.
One of the #Russian bloggers cries that in two days her Instagram will stop working— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 11, 2022
She does not care at all about the thousands of dead people, including her compatriots. Obviously, her biggest worry right now is that she won't be able to post pictures of food from restaurants. pic.twitter.com/LSdBiSlwHr
“To me, it’s all life. It’s the soul. It’s the one thing with which I wake up, fall asleep. F**king five years in a row,” she reportedly said in native Russian.
Valeria Chekalina, an influencer with 10.5 million followers, shared a crying face emoji to her profile.
She informed fans to find her on other apps, including Telegram.
Instagram users told to move media elsewhere
Russia’s communications regulator told Instagram users in an email before the ban to move their photos and videos from Instagram before they are no longer able to access them.
He also suggested they switch to the country’s own “competitive internet platforms”.
“We need to ensure the psychological health of citizens, especially children and adolescents, to protect them from harassment and insults online,” the regulator said.
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