Model Paulina Porizkova claims Instagram removed post about Ukraine-Russia war for ‘hate speech’

·2 min read
‘Having spent my childhood in a country occupied by the Soviet Union, I understand propaganda,’ model says (Getty Images)
‘Having spent my childhood in a country occupied by the Soviet Union, I understand propaganda,’ model says (Getty Images)

Former supermodel Paulina Porizkova has accused Instagram of “censoring” her posts about Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Porizkova, 56, – who was three years old when she and her parents fled Czechoslovakia to Lund, Sweden, to escape the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion – shared two side-by-side photographs of herself, one which showed her natural face and another which was heavily edited to make her appear younger.

She labelled the real selfie “reality” and wrote “propaganda” over the other. The post was allegedly removed by Instagram for “hate speech”, Porizkova said in a later post.

She also recalled what it was like to live under Soviet rule as a child. The Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia prompted strict censorship regulations on the press and film industry.

“Having spent my childhood in a country occupied by the Soviet Union, I understand propaganda,” she wrote.

“Since the press was heavily censored, we only got the news our ‘best friends’ wanted us to get.

“My Babi had to paste a little a Russian flag to all of our windows on the 1st of May every year, to celebrate our ‘best friends’ so she wouldn’t lose her job.

“I’m well aware what happens when you’re only able to see one part of a small picture. It becomes your whole world. With no comparisons, you know nothing else.”

Porizkova also went on to express solidarity with Russian citizens who have been protesting against the war in Russia. “I’m in awe of the Russian citizens protesting this war, putting their lives, their jobs and reputations on the line. I know what the cost is in a country that doesn’t allow for dissent,” she said.

Porizkova also shared the side-by-side images to Twitter, writing in a tweet: “This post, under which I spoke of my childhood and indoctrination by the Soviets without a single vulgarity, was taken down by @instagram for being offensive.”

On Wednesday, The Independent reported that at least 6,500 people have been arrested by Russian authorities for protesting against the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

According to the OVD-Info project, an independent Russian human rights monitoring group, demonstrations have taken place across more than 100 Russian cities.

The Independent has contacted Instagram for comment.

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