Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, told Axios in an interview Monday that President Trump's efforts to ban TikTok may have already dealt irreversible damage to the digital world.

Driving the news: "The damage might have already been done in terms of normalizing this type of policy," Mosseri said. He and others have previously cautioned that nations targeting individual apps could chill innovation and free expression and encourage authoritarian governments to further extend their reach online.

What they're saying: "I think it's really going to be problematic if we end up banning TikTok and we set a precedent for more countries to ban more apps," Mosseri said. "You can imagine them feeling really emboldened to say, 'Look, you have to do this or we will ban you entirely.'"

  • "It would be bad for everyone ... It will be bad for American tech companies which have been historically the biggest international tech companies. And it's going to be bad for people too, because you would have a more fragmented internet."

Catch up quick: Trump threatened the ban on TikTok in an August executive order, citing national security concerns around the Chinese-owned social video app.

  • Last month, Trump agreed to a deal aimed at staving off the ban, under which Oracle would serve as TikTok's "trusted technology partner" in the U.S.
  • That deal still needs to be finalized, although a federal judge last week stopped the Trump administration from blocking new U.S. downloads of TikTok in the meantime, concluding the order may have been an overreach of the president's emergency powers.
  • Mosseri is now suggesting the whole saga may have the same global impact regardless of its ultimate outcome.

The big picture: Mosseri's comments come on the eve of Instagram's 10th birthday. (The photo-sharing app was acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion.) Today, Mosseri says, well over 90% of its users and growth is outside of the U.S.

Go deeper: The TikTok deal's for-show provisions and flimsy foundations

Go deeper

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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

While Facebook continues to take heat over being a tinderbox for conservative media, data shows that liberal, civically engaged voices are winning out on Instagram — and the engagement is even higher there than on Facebook.

Why it matters: The politics playing out on Instagram reflect a younger, more progressive generation. Many have left Facebook to their parents.

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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.