Instagram is the latest victim of online censorship in China. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app is down in China as pro-democracy demonstrations rock Hong Kong.
Instagram has been blocked in mainland China in a move that appears to have been prompted by people posting photos and videos on Instagram and other media sites showing Hong Kong police using tear gas in clearing protestors from the streets.
The authorities felt these photos and videos would fuel more violence. Instagram has not responded to a request for confirmation.
Most of the images were being posted with hashtag “#OccupyHK” or “#OccupyCentral”. The latter phrase was blocked on Sunday on Weibo. Weibo is a Chinese microblogging site similar to Twitter.
Instagram has managed to grow in China despite Facebook, its parent company, being blocked for years. Facebook seems not to be lucky in China as Instagram now becomes another victim of this censorship.
China also blocked DuckDuckGo, a privacy focused search engine, earlier this month.
The demonstrations started over a week earlier as sit-ins by students demanding that Beijing should grant genuine democratic reforms.
People in Hong Kong are still posting images of the protests despite the fact that Instagram has been blocked.