The Kremlin is waging a new influence campaign: persuading Russians to quit Western social media platforms.
As part of a broad effort to control the narrative of its invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin is pushing Russians to adopt local alternatives instead. Russian authorities have set up firewalls around several Western social media platforms and are threatening more. They must now convince Russians accustomed to the freedoms of YouTube and Instagram that censored national social networks can offer opportunities to earn money and an equally large audience. And they’re not just cheap counterfeits.