Warnings telling Instagram users that access to the photo-sharing app has been denied have started appearing in North Korea, indicating that the popular service could have made it to the country’s blacklist.
On opening the app using the North Korean carrier Koryolink, a message appears saying, “Warning! You can’t connect to this website because it’s in blacklist site”. Another notice in Korean says that the site contains ‘harmful content’, reported The Guardian.
Koryolink’s technical support staff said that they were not aware of any changes in policy regarding Instagram and added that they had not received any official notice from the government.
The move could be related to a blaze that ravaged a Pyongyang hotel, often used by tourists and foreign visitors, on June 11. Photos of the burning building were leaked on social media before North Korea’s state-run media reported on it.
Photos posted on Instagram provided a window to the daily life beyond Pyongyang’s walls but also posed a problem for North Korean officials concerned about the flow of information and images in and out of the country.