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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

In photos: Protests outside fortified capitols draw only small groups

Armed members of the far-right extremist group the Boogaloo Bois near the Michigan Capitol Building in Lansing on Jan. 17. About 20 protesters showed up, AP notes. Photo: Seth Herald/AFP via Getty Images

Small groups of protesters rallied outside fortified statehouses over the weekend ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

The big picture: Some protests attracted armed members of far-right extremist groups but there were no reports of clashes, as had been feared. The National Guard and law enforcement outnumbered demonstrators, as security was heightened around the U.S. to avoid a repeat of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riots, per AP.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

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