Facebook-owned Instagram blocked the Instagram posts related to Russian journalist Alexi Navalry and his investigation of Russian government corruption.
The move follows the Russian government’s demand that Navalry’s content on Youtube and Instagram be deleted.
Kremlin is furious over a February 8 video by Navalry that suggests a corrupt relationship between Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko and oligarch, Oleg Deripaska. Navalry showed that Deripaska hosted Prikhodko and at least one high-end escort on his yacht in 2016. Putin is obviously not amused with the image of escorts, oligarchs, and government officials hobnobbing together and destroying Putin’s carefully crafted “moral leadership.”
Critics of such move by Instagram feel that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg must be held accountable for the censorship on Navalry especially given Zuckerberg’s self-projection of being an education and free speech advocate.
An opinion piece by The Washington Examiner even calls Zuckerberg’s latest betrayal of Navalry as “adding another feather to his fake news cap.” This after Zuckerberg has come under congressional pressure for his limited efforts to remove Kremlin trolls from his platforms. Zuckerberg defended such limited action on the part of Facebook with the alibi that removing content would represent an unacceptable affront to freedom of expression.
The critics are stressing that what’s more concerning is the clear possibility that Zuckerberg will be a potential 2020 Democratic presidential aspirant, but he is obviously beholden to Putin’s interests and his Russian business interests. In so doing, Zuckerberg is submitting Instagram to the will of Russian corruption.
Google which also owns Youtube in contrast has refused to kowtow to Putin’s demands.
Zuckerberg is destroying his brand and all the supposed Democratic values he once claimed to stand for.