'As Russia bans Facebook and Instagram, what alternatives will Russian social media users turn to?'
I spoke on Euronews about the current state of social media in Russia. As Meta announced that it won’t censor posts such as “death to the Russian invaders”, a court decision in Moscow deemed Facebook and Instagram extremist platforms.
Public figures and influencers en masse announced their migration from Instagram to Telegram. Meanwhile, there are ambitious plans to create even more domestic alternatives to the 'global giants', such as Rossgram (Russian response to Instagram), for instance.
One important point for everyone to remember is that Telegram is not a domestic platform in Russia. Yes, it was founded by Pavel Durov, that same guy who founded VKontakte (a shameless rip-off of Facebook but with more and sometimes better features), but he is in exile. When VKontakte was racketeered from him by the regime-loyal oligarch with Uzbek roots, he founded Telegram in reaction to state surveillance. You can read more about the role of Telegram in platform surveillance and resistance here.
What risks will Telegram's growing monopoly bring about? Will domestic platforms in Russia fill the void as the Digital Iron Curtain is rolling down?