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Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Instagram has given in to Russian internet censors by blocking access to posts that reference allegations against leaders of the Russian Federation by prominent opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the BBC reports.

Why it matters: Instagram's decision contrasts that of video rival YouTube, which Russian agency officials say has not yet complied with its demand to remove Navalny's videos. But it's important to consider that the content Instagram was asked to take down was not the exact same as YouTube’s. Theirs was from the Navalny's escort, while YouTube’s is actual content from Nalvany himself.

According to an Instagram spokesperson:

“When governments believe that something on the Internet violates their laws, they may contact companies and ask us to restrict access to that content. We review such requests carefully in light of local laws and where appropriate, we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory.”

  • Russia threatened to block Facebook, Instagram's parent company, last year unless it agreed to comply with a law that requires websites to store the personal data of Russian citizens on Russian servers.
  • Social media censorship is a tactic used globally by authoritarian figures to quell opposition voices. China has currently blocked many social media services, like Instagram, Facebook, Google and Twitter, and earlier this year it said it would block the Facebook-owned messenger service, WhatsApp.
  • Many credit access to social media tools, like YouTube and Facebook, for the rise of the Arab Spring in 2011 and 2012.

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Franklin Graham worries Trump too old to run in 2024

Graham and Trump at a rally in 2017. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images

The Rev. Franklin Graham says a potential 2024 presidential bid by Donald Trump would "be a very tough thing to do," the prominent Christian leader told "Axios on HBO."

Why it matters: Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse, was among Trump's earliest and most prominent evangelical defenders.

5 mins ago - Axios on HBO

Cameo CEO says he would let Trump join platform

Cameo CEO Steven Galanis doesn't want the app he built to be used explicitly for politics, but said he would allow former President Trump on the platform.

  • "Trump has done nothing on our platform to violate our terms of service," Galanis says in an interview with "Axios on HBO" that aired Sunday.

Why it matters: Cameo's approach is different than some of its Big Tech peers.

Off the Rails

Episode 9: Trump's war with his generals

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Axios' "Off the rails" series documents the end of the Trump administration, from election night 2020 through the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.

One important piece is only now beginning to emerge: Former President Donald Trump's last-minute bid to pull U.S. forces from Afghanistan and swaths of the Middle East, Africa and even Europe ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration — and why he blinked.

John McEntee, one of Donald Trump's most-favored aides, handed retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor a piece of paper with a few notes scribbled on it. He explained: "This is what the president wants you to do."

1. Get us out of Afghanistan.

2. Get us out of Iraq and Syria.

3. Complete the withdrawal from Germany.

4. Get us out of Africa.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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