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News > Germany

Instagram Bans Redfish Without Proper Explanation

  • The notification reads “Sorry, this page isn’t available,” Sept. 16, 2021.

    The notification reads “Sorry, this page isn’t available,” Sept. 16, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @redfishstream

Published 16 September 2021
Opinion

With over 419,000 followers on social media, Redfish offers alternative coverage of the struggles of the peoples of the world.

On Thursday, Instagram deactivated the account of Redfish with no justification. This Berlin-based project submits information on grassroots struggles worldwide to build alternative narratives.

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It specializes in producing short and in-depth documentaries in collaboration with the world’s most marginalized and oppressed populations.

On several occasions, the U.S. State Department accused Redfish of being part of a Russian propaganda apparatus, arguing that its funding came from Ruptly, a news agency owned by public TV network Russia Today (RT). Echoing this narrative, for instance, the Daily Beast claimed that Redfish received orders from the Kremlin during the Donald Trump administration. 

“We view Instagram's ban as part of its crackdown on media sources challenging the mainstream,” said Redfish, which has over 419,000 followers.

So far, the owner of Instagram, Facebook, has not explained its reasoning for the ban. Currently, Redfish is unable to appeal against the decision because a form provided by Facebook for this purpose is rejecting its blocked account.

In April, Redfish's account in Facebook was also deleted for claimed violations of community standards. Publications marking the defeat of fascism in Italy and remembering the victims of the Holocaust triggered the ban since the featured photos of semi-naked Auschwitz death-camp inmates were flagged for allegedly violating rules on “nudity and sexual activity.”

Its account was restored after media regulator Roskomnadzor stepped in with a warning that Facebook could face fines for violating “key principles of free distribution of information” and infringing the rights of online companies.

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