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Instagram reportedly blocked in China after mass Hong Kong protests

Instagram has become the latest victim of online censorship having reportedly been blocked in most parts of China. While certainly not the first site to be blocked by China, the move does reflect the amount of pressure the local government is currently experiencing amid the pro-democracy protests.

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On Sunday, tens of thousands of protesters gathered on the streets of financial hub Hong Kong. The protest has continuously been cited as being peaceful, though the local government has been using tear gas in order to disperse the crowds.

Instagram has been one of the few Western social networks not blocked in China. It’s impossible to give exact user numbers though we can be confident that the Facebook-owned site is making a substantial loss in users if this ban persists.

Back in 2011, the platform’s founder Kevin Systrom said that it was signing up 100 000 new users every week. It’s now almost four years on and China has more than 700-million smartphone users.

Instagram has not been the only site under government pressure. Two of China’s most popular sites — search giant Baidu and social network Sina Weibo — have also undergone censorship. Search results like “Hong Kong Tear Gas” in the local language were blocked.

The government has also pulled many articles relating to the mass protest.

According to BlockedInChina, the URL, instagram.com, is currently not active in Beijing, Shenzen, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang Province and Yunnan Province.

Instagram has still been active in Hong Kong however, enabling users to share photos like these ones below. People have been sharing their snaps under the hashtag, #OccupyCentral.

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