Ukraine-Russia: Russian 'Instagram clone' launches after US social media site banned

Rossgram, a Russian picture sharing app dubbed an “Instagram clone”, is set to launch today, two weeks after the US social network was banned in the country.

Rossgram’s developers said it would launch on Monday, promoting the app as having “servers and a Russian-based data centre”.

Instagram’s parent company Meta was banned from Russia on March 14 following the country's move to declare it an "extremist organisation" under Russian law.

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Rossgram’s logo is a similar design to that of Instagram.

Rossgram is due to launch in Russia today. The words on the promotional image say that it is an "Analogue Russian popular social network".
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Its website states: "No more VPNs and restrictions – you can log in from anywhere in Russia.

“No need to get used to incomprehensible words and look for the right buttons – the interface is as simple and understandable as possible for any user.”

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The app has been created by Russian entrepreneurs Alexander Zobov and Kirill Filimonov.

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Earlier this month, Meta revised its policies on violent speech, allowing anti-Russian posts aimed at leaders such as president Vladimir Putin.

Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, released a statement defending the company’s decision at the time, claiming it had “no quarrel” with the Russian people.

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“The fact is, if we applied our standard content policies without any adjustments, we would not be removing content from ordinary Ukrainians expressing their resistance and fury at the invading forces, which would rightly be viewed as unacceptable,” Mr Clegg said. “I want to be crystal clear: our policies are focused on protecting people’s rights to speech as an expression of self-defence in reaction to a military invasion of their country.”

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