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Hands off my likes! Russian blogger sues Instagram over move to make ‘likes’ private

Hands off my likes! Russian blogger sues Instagram over move to make ‘likes’ private
A Russian beauty blogger has sued Instagram, after the platform announced plans to hide the ‘likes’ a person’s post gets. Claiming the move will be the end of blogging as a source of income, he is angling for a hefty compensation.

Ruslan Zakharkin, an aspiring beauty and lifestyle influencer, has 95 thousand followers on Instagram, makes a living on the back of his large audience and, more precisely, on the likes his posts get. After the network announced and then started to test hiding the total number of likes on photos and videos you get, Zakharkin was taken aback.

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“I just filed a lawsuit against Instagram right here, in Moscow’s Tagansky District Court,” he announced in a video on his Instagram, which so far has over 6,000 views. In the video, the blogger lambasts Instagram, once regarded as “liberal and democratic,” for turning into an “unprincipled” platform which will “drive all bloggers and users altogether from the Instagram market.”

The man also demanded that Roskomnadzor, a Russian regulator in Telecoms, Information Technologies and Mass Communications, follows up his case and, preferably, bans Instagram once and for all from experimenting with ‘likes’ on Russian soil.

“I’m representing the community of all Russian bloggers,” Zakharkin said, noting that Instagram already owes him 500 thousand rubles in compensation for moral damages.

The blogger’s post has so far got a little over 60 comments, with half of them, however, ridiculing the move and the grounds for it. As for the platform itself, Facebook-owned Instagram has not yet commented on the case.

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Regarding its updated ‘like’ policy, Instagram recently explained that the move to hide the ‘like’ feature, which had become something of a network currency, was introduced in order to let “followers focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.” Also, the ‘likes’ will not be turfed out completely – some will be hidden, so that only a person who posted a picture or video would be able to see them.

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