Instagram has received a lot of backlash from the citizens of Russians following an accusation that the photo app is helping bury evidences that prove Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko enjoyed luxurious hospitality from billionaire tycoon Oleg Deripaska.
According to reports Instagram removed the post which was meant to form part of an investigation published last week by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, alleging that Prikhodko had vacationed on Deripaska’s yacht off the coast of Norway.
Russia’s communications watchdog has said it asked photo sharing website Instagram to remove posts that allegedly show The site, which is owned by social media giant Facebook, obliged to the request on Thursday.
Both Prikhodko and Deripaska have denied the allegations.
Kremlin critic Navalny decried Instagram’s decision to comply with Russian authorities. In a rare tweet posted in English, Navalny wrote:
“@instagram decided to comply with Russian illegal censorship requests and deleted some content about oligarch Deripaska. Shame on you, @instagram! This content was spotlighted by our corruption investigation.”
The videos were reportedly recorded and uploaded by a woman called Nastya Rybka, who said she was hired by a modeling agency to spend time on Deripaska’s yacht. Rybka, who worked as an escort, also claimed she had an affair with the aluminum magnate.
A 25-minute video of Navalny presenting the investigation in Russian was also uploaded to YouTube last week, where it has already amassed some 5 million views.
As of Thursday, the video still remained online, although Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor said it had issued a request to Google to delete the video.