Instagram has recently rolled out a new feature that labels media outlets as ‘state-controlled media’. Profiles that fall under this category will be labelled so at the top of the page; clicking on the link will redirect users to the policy. While these pages seem to primarily post content that attracts a more progressive audience, these media outlets are supposedly under the influence of the Kremlin.

Media profiles that are affected by this feature include:

  • In the Now: “Fresh news served hot with a side of smile” is a mix of news and quirky, shareable entertainment content.
  • Redfish: A documentary company openly backed by Russia Today, a Kremlin-sanctioned outlet known for propaganda.
  • Soapbox Stand: An independent outlet that ‘rejects partisan politics’ and expresses opinions rather than objective news.

According to Instagram’s policy, a state-controlled media outlet ‘may be partially or wholly under the editorial control of their government.’

According to the policy, Instagram’s reasoning for this system is because ‘we believe they combine the influence of a media organization with the backing of a state.’ There is a set of criteria that must be fulfilled for a page to be labelled ‘state-controlled.’ Pages have the option to dispute their labelling through an official appeal.

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