After blue denims, western film production, traveling to the United States – North Korea now bans Instagram.
With more than 2 million mobile phone users, citizens of North Korea have limited access to the internet. Unfortunately, all media outlets in the country are owned and filtered by the government. North Korea discourages interactions between North Koreans and outsiders; it is probably considered as one of the most repressive states.
Internet in North Korea is still at a nascent stage. The government is so concerned about internet transparency that merely owning a personal computer requires permission from the local government authorities. With almost 25 million citizens, North Korea has only 1,024 IP addresses.
Facebook and Twitter in North Korea are highly restricted. Forget iPhones and iPads, the only smartphone allowed to use in North Korea is the government approved ‘Pyongyang touch.’
Instagram, a photo-sharing application owned by Facebook was working smoothly in the capital city, Pyongyang till recently. However, since the last five days the Instagram application reads – Warning! You can’t connect to this website because it’s in the blacklist.
Despite warnings, it is possible to open the application on some mobile devices, although pictures cannot be uploaded. No official statement is released from the government and so the reason for this obstruction is still ambiguous. Instagram is being used as means of visual communication wherein people upload pictures and videos not only with friends but strangers too, which in turn may influence the isolated citizens of this country.
In a country like North Korea, where the population doesn’t have the privilege to access basic internet facilities, there is a huge possibility for discontinuation of Instagram.