In Ukraine and Russia, Instagram has made encrypted direct messaging available.

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As Meta (formerly Facebook) has stated, it will make encrypted one-to-one chats on Instagram available to all adults in Ukraine and Russia as part of a series of initiatives in reaction to the war in Ukraine, which include banning state media and increasing efforts around fact-checking.

Instagram users will also be notified of the choice via a notification that shows up at the top of their direct message inbox, informing them that they can switch to an encrypted discussion if they like.

End-to-end encryption is already available in other Meta-owned apps like Messenger and WhatsApp. It’s the default on WhatsApp.

Default end-to-end encryption will not be available on Messenger until 2023, but the company has long offered the option to enable end-to-end encryption for text chats on Messenger. In January, it also completed the rollout of end-to-end encrypted group chats and calls in Messenger.

The decision to make the safety features available in both Ukraine and Russia was explained by the corporation. It was stated that Russian anti-war activists may be at risk if they didn’t have the option.

“Prominent Russian producers and influencers, activists and musicians are utilising Facebook and Instagram to gather information and speak out against the invasion,” said Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, who was just promoted from his vice president position.

“We want them to be able to do so in the future.” We also want people in Russia to be able to hear from President Zelenskyy and other Ukrainian officials,” he continued.

Even as the Russian government has blocked access to Meta’s services, the firm has made various significant modifications in recent days as the crisis has progressed.

The modifications aren’t confined to encrypted Instagram DMs for end users. According to Clegg, the business also pushed new safety features for users in Ukraine and Russia, including the option to lock one’s Facebook profile and disable the ability to access and search friend lists. The “Lock Profile” feature was first introduced in India in 2020 as a safety measure for women.

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