- Instagram will downrank posts from Russian state-run media and labeling Stories that lead to Russian-controlled media sites.
- The company is also hiding Followers and Following information about private accounts in Russia and Ukraine.
- The measures are just some of the broader tech industry’s actions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Instagram is trying to tamp down misinformation about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by demoting posts from Russian state-controlled media.
In an update Tuesday, the company said it’ll start downranking these posts in users’ feeds and its Stories tool.
If people try to reshare such content, they’ll be notified that it comes from Russian state-run media. If they share anyway, it’ll be placed lower in the Stories tray. Instagram also will label Stories featuring link stickers leading to Russian state-run media websites.
On top of that, Instagram will stop recommending posts from Russian state-controlled media accounts in the Explore and Reels tabs and will make these accounts harder to find in Search.
In its update Tuesday, Instagram also said it’s taking action to conceal social ties among users in Russia and Ukraine with private accounts.
People following private accounts based in the two countries will no longer be able to see who those users follow or who follows them. These accounts will also stop popping up in other people’s Follower or Following lists and in the “mutual follows” feature.
Instagram added that it’ll highlight tools for bulk-deleting things like photos, videos, likes, and comments to accounts based in Russia or Ukraine.
The new measures represent some of several actions major tech companies have taken in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Twitter has started labeling tweets that link to Russian state-affiliated media websites.
Last month, Meta, which is Instagram’s parent company, banned Russian state media from running ads or monetizing content on Facebook. Days later, Facebook said it’s restricting access to Russian state media outlets RT and Sputnik across the EU. Facebook then broadened the restrictions to apply globally. The company later pulled all ads from Russia and refused to run ads anywhere in the world from Russian marketers.
Russia, for its part, throttled Facebook for about a week before officially blocking it.
Besides Facebook, YouTube and TikTok have also banned RT and Sputnik in the EU. Apple has said it’s pulling these outlets from the App Store; the company has also stopped all product sales in Russia.