Instagram is demoting Russian state media accounts and labeling their posts

The app will discourage users from sharing content from Russian state media.


Instagram is joining Facebook in its attempt to bury Russian state media in its app. The app will now down-rank posts from state media outlets in its feed and in Stories, and will add prominent labels to discourage other users from sharing their posts.

“Instagram believes the account that created this post may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of the Russian government,” the labels warn. Users who do share links to Russian state media outlets via the app’s link sticker will also have their posts down-ranked in their followers’ Stories trays. Instagram is also stripping Russian state media accounts from recommendations in Reels and Explore, and making the accounts more difficult to find in search.

Instagram’s update follows a similar move from Facebook last week. In addition to limiting the spread of content from Russian state media, the social network has also blocked ads from Russian advertisers and taken down a network of fake accounts that were boosting pro-Russia propaganda. In response to Facebook’s crackdown on state media, the Russian government blocked access to the social network. Importantly, that block hasn’t affected Instagram, at least for now.

Instagram will highlight in-app tools for deleting past activity and downloading account data.

Instagram is also ramping up some privacy features for accounts in Ukraine and Russia. The app will hide follower details for all private accounts in the countries so people won’t be able to view the followers of others or who private accounts are following. The app will also highlight its tools for bulk-deleting past activity and downloading their account data.