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Instagram submits to Russia censor’s demands

Instagram has blocked posts in Russia relating to corruption claims made by the country’s most prominent opposition leader.

It follows a demand by the country’s internet censor that the Facebook-owned service restrict access to posts on its platform connected to allegations made by Alexei Navalny.

Its response contrasts with that of Google’s YouTube service.

It had been ordered to block several clips before the end of Wednesday.

But it has taken no such action.

The controversy followed a YouTube video posted by Mr Navalny’s Anti-corruption Foundation last week that allegedly shows the billionaire Oleg Deripaska meeting with Russia’s deputy prime minister Sergei Prikhodko aboard a yacht.

The 25-minute upload has been watched more than five million times.

YouTube has not commented on the matter.

Local internet service providers are said to lack the ability to block specific Instagram and YouTube posts.

That had led to speculation that the ISPs might block the services outright.

Some ISPs have already taken such action against Mr Navalny’s own website to comply with an order by Russia’s communications regulator, Roskomnadzor.

The watchdog acted after a court ruling last week that Mr Deripaska’s privacy rights had been violated.

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