Russian influencer and model Veronika Loginova (18 years old) has more than 500,000 followers on Instagram. In her profile, she places special emphasis on fashion, beauty and health.
Now the 18-year-old claims that she risks up to six years in prison after being active on several social platforms.
The model took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the situation. She was in Paris when she received a phone call from her mother back home in Russia. The latter is said to have been visited by the police prosecutor, who was looking for the teenager.
– Do you want to talk about it
The Russian authorities were said to have given the mother a written warning accusing Loginova of “taking measures to attract users on the social networks Facebook and Instagram”. writes, among other things vice And the independent.
In March it was Instagram and Facebook are banned in Russia – After the state decided to classify the dead parent company as extremist.
According to the Russian NGO RoscomsvobodaAnd the who works As for digital rights in the country, this is the first known case of persecution of a Russian citizen just for using Instagram.
After the police knocked on Loginova’s mother’s door, the influencer shared photos of the warning she should have received on Instagram. There she wrote:
“Now I am facing up to six years in prison for using Instagram. Good morning I woke up in Russia. It is not usual to talk about it, but I want to do it.”
“Yes. And suddenly it just so happened. You live, you take beautiful photos, you build a platform, you help people, you don’t touch anyone. But you live in Russia, and among a million bloggers come to you.
– Are you serious?
Loginova did not hide the fact that she is very sad about the situation in which she found herself.
“Are you serious? Me? An 18-year-old fashion blogger? Entrepreneur, clothing brand creator, paying taxes for his country? I wrote about someone posting about mental health support who didn’t have a political agenda on their blog?”
Furthermore, the 18-year-old asked her followers what she should do, and whether she should leave Instagram for good. The idea of moving from Russia and possibly taking the case to court was one of the ideas she had in mind.
In the post, Loginova also wrote that she is grateful to have so many people around her who understand and support her.
– It should not be affected
Loginova has now applied for legal support from the Russian organization Roskomsvoboda.
Sarkis Darpinian, head of the organization, spoke about the ongoing situation of the 18-year-old, according to vice. He says that the warning Loginova received from the prosecution is very disturbing.
– This is far from what the prosecution promised when it described Instagram and Facebook as extremism, when it publicly stated that this decision would not affect end users.
– Now it turns out she does exactly that. According to the prosecutor’s reasoning, anyone who says “Follow me on Instagram” is now threatened with up to 14 years in prison.
According to VICE, a Russian analytics firm in Moscow said the number of active Russian users on Instagram fell by 31 percent in the month following the invasion of Ukraine.
Russian content creators have also had to change their strategies when it comes to social media. This is for fear of persecution by the state, or because the platforms themselves have stopped serving Russian users.
according to vice They also felt blocked after the app prevented them from posting new posts or live broadcasts. Users are now limited to watching old videos made by other Russian users, and will get blank pages if they try to reach other foreign creators.
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