North Korea Bans Instagram

Instagram users in North Korea are being told that access account has been denied. Subscribers of the North Korean carrier Koryolink see the following message in English when they try to access the app: “You can’t connect to this website because it’s in blacklist site”. In Korean, the message also adds that the website contains “harmful content”

In response, the Internet service provider said they were not aware of any changes in Instagram policy regarding of the government intentions. Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, still functions as usual in the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang.

In the meantime, social media remains off-limits to almost all citizens of the country. However, North Korea now allows foreign visitors to access social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using 3G on their mobile phones. This practice has come within the greater number of people within the country with the strictest censorship on the planet, which is quite unusual.

Talking about Instagram, the pictures from inside North Korea posted by foreigners provide a window on daily life in the country, while also presenting a quandary for North Korean officials who are very concerned about the flow of data. Officially, no ban was announced, and it remains unclear where it originates from and whether other websites have been affected.

There are many suggestions on what could cause the block. Instagram is still a very expensive instrument for foreign journalists and tourists, because it costs about $450 for 2Gb of data. According to statistics, over 2 million North Koreans now use mobile phones, but most of them are denied access the Internet.


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