Russia Clamps Down On Bloggers, Online Profanity

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Russia Clamps Down On Bloggers, Online Profanity

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a law requiring bloggers to register with the government, while a program designed to automatically stamp out online swearing is set to go live this fall.

The situation in Russia grew a little grimmer yesterday with the approval of a "blogger's law" that requires all bloggers and popular social media figures who receive 3000 or more hits per day to register with the government. Once registered, they will be held to the same standards as conventional news outlets, requiring them to fact-check and remove posts containing inaccurate information and forbidding any defamation of individuals or groups, or obfuscation of facts.

Mandatory truth-telling on the internet might not sound like an entirely bad idea, except that it's left up to the government to determine what is and is not true - and those found to be in violation of the government's guidelines face serious repercussions. Anonymous blogging is also out; under the law, registered bloggers must provide their initials, surname and email address, a real risk in a country widely recognized as one of the most dangerous in the world for journalists. Even without the potential for violence hanging overhead, the penalties for being in violation of the law are severe: Individuals face fines of $280 to $850, while "legal entities" could be hit with fines as high as $8500.

On an even more bizarre note, Russia is preparing to roll out a system that will search out and eradicate obscenity on the internet. Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor currently does the job manually, monitoring roughly 5000 websites to ensure that they comply with an anti-obscenity law passed last year, but an automatic system is expected to be rolled out in the fall. Specifically proscribed words and phrases weren't given but according to the BBC, the law is aimed at "obscene references to the male and female reproductive organs, copulation and women of loose morals, and all words derived from them."

Reporters Without Borders ranked Russia at 148 out of 180 countries in its 2014 World Press Freedom Index, behind countries including Myanmar, Libya, Afghanistan and Venezuela.

Sources: The Verge

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Did Putin go ahead and rebuilt the Berlin Wall when nobody was looking? Because I've got the feeling that Putin really wants the Soviet Union back.

Can't say I'm surprised. Putin's pretty notorious for enforcing a police state and cracking down on anyone who speaks against him or doing anything else that he doesn't like. This is simply the logical progression to achieving those ends.

People ask why I'm heading to Russia on a missionary trip when there's many other countries that need help.

As it turns out, I can just say I'm being pre-emptive. O__o

Gonna miss being called a cyka in World of Tanks.

Oh motherland, you so silly.
Thank god I got off before it turned into this big of a train wreck.

Putin is a fucking nut.

It's just shameful that the Russian people seem to take it so easily.

Those poor bastards in Russia. Putin, what a piece of crap. As if the "truth" coming out of Russia wasn't suspect already at this point. Soon it'll be just like it was 40 years ago. That is just terrible for the people of Russia and the surrounding countries.

DasDestroyer:
Oh motherland, you so silly.
Thank god I got off before it turned into this big of a train wreck.

Amen. What happened Russia, you used to be...

...

Nevermind, let's not go there.

YOU COULD BE SO MUCH BETTER THOUGH

/ashamed of birthplace

Tanis:
Putin is a fucking nut.

It's just shameful that the Russian people seem to take it so easily.

I agree, it's more than a little creepy seeing people cheering so loudly for Putin and his administration considering all the things they've done.

Of course, that could be just what they want us to see. Just like Nazi Germany, there's probably unmistakable civil unrest, despite what propaganda tells us.

So any word from Edward Snowden on this?

Sounds like the kind of thing he claims to be concerned with.

This seems more like the actions of a dictator than a president, and I'm not exactly a fan of Putin's 'truth'. At this point, Putin is just waving his dick around in an effort to get a response.

Hmm....why are countries going out of their way to show how backwards, ignorant, and just plain wrong they are to the outside world? I can now see why the US has such an immigration problem as it does: everyone is leaving these backwards, redneck countries to go to a place of better freedom!

Edit: And I know how odd that sounds with states with senators still trying to ban violent video games, ban same-sex marriage, and ban medical/recreational use of Marijuana. Yes, our government is full of idiots, but not as stupid as trying to kill their own citizens.

Looks like Putin's puttin' the Iron Curtain back up as fast as he can...

josh4president:
So any word from Edward Snowden on this?

Sounds like the kind of thing he claims to be concerned with.

He's been remarkably silent of late. One could say he's been rather incommunicado...

This is ridiculous. Next thing you know Putin will be bugging every building in the damn country.

The situation in Russia grew a little grimmer yesterday with the approval of a "blogger's law" that requires all bloggers and popular social media figures who receive 3000 or more hits per day to register with the government. Once registered, they will be held to the same standards as conventional news outlets, requiring them to fact-check and remove posts containing inaccurate information and forbidding any defamation of individuals or groups, or obfuscation of facts.

Shit like this really irritates me because everytime someone tries to impose rules that require the media (of whom bloggers are a part) to attempt some basic standards of adhering to facts and not posting blatant untruths, we get bombarded with scenarios like this where it goes horribly wrong. Debate ends, and cashed up media moguls go back to spewing blatant untruths with no repercussions other than a slap on the wrist with a lettuce leaf.

Why must everything be either 1984 style government control or laiz-affair he-with-the-largest-pockets dominance? Can't we strive for a system of balance and oversight?

Tanis:
Putin is a fucking nut.

It's just shameful that the Russian people seem to take it so easily.

As if they could actually do anything about him if they wanted to...

It's quite incredible to see modern day fascism happening before our very eyes. This is the stuff our generation has only ever read about.

I wonder what else is being suppressed over there?

josh4president:
So any word from Edward Snowden on this?

Sounds like the kind of thing he claims to be concerned with.

With an Ex-KGB running the show and now showing his true colors blatantly, he's lucky if he's still alive or even functional, and if he's alive most likely he's tucked away in some prison and forgotten.

Stupid choice to run over to Russia with a head full of US secrets. I've not been so trusting of Russia post-USSR for many reasons, most of them just a gut feeling that I couldn't corroborate with any factual basis.

Also folk who scream about freedom of speech, this is a situation where, if it were taking place in the US, the 1st Amendment would apply. The US Government can't regulate what you can and cannot say (including banning any words no matter how racist or making it illegal to say such words). Just a note. However it doesn't apply to private website forums policing their own users. I know its been said but this is a real world example of what the 1st Amendment is supposed to protect and just how lucky I feel not to be living in a country like that.

i have a feeling next week we are going to be looking at some news regarding putin invading afganistan to sort out some "unfinished business"

I'm genuinly surprised. I know Russia has regressed to a older time socially, but the way freedom of expression is being curtailed not only there, but many places around the world is astonishing. Even more so the lack of public responses.

JarinArenos:
Looks like Putin's puttin' the Iron Curtain back up as fast as he can...

josh4president:
So any word from Edward Snowden on this?

Sounds like the kind of thing he claims to be concerned with.

He's been remarkably silent of late. One could say he's been rather incommunicado...

Actually, he just made a comment on a Danish controversy, four days ago or so. Basically the company that handles credit card and billing information in the country leaked information to a magazine. That leak turned out to be a pastime of the employees who had fun checking the history of whomever they wanted to have information about, whenever they wanted.
One part of the issue is that there is so much information being logged and stored, despite the EU having crystal clear laws on the subject and that's where Snowden remarked that the people should rise up against it, while they still could.

On the topic of him being quiet, I suspect a lot of what he says is being drowned and simply.. ignored. Let's face it, he's old news and no one cares to hear more about him, until something changes.

The only real difference I'm seeing currently between what happened with the initial rise of Communism and the formation of the Soviet Union in Russia and what's happening now is that now there are people in Russia who've lived through the time when they were a fascist dictatorship. Then they saw it fall, and probably aren't going to just sit idly by while a sleazy enforcer/spy-turned-politician tries to drag the country back to that time.

Well, that and the whole killing the long standing monarchy thing.

Dear god, this guy is in charge of nukes.

That's comforting.

Putin does seem intent on dragging Russia back several decades, and he doesn't care if he takes the rest of the world with him. This is getting more than a little distressing now. I'm still upset over the whole Ukraine thing. I wonder what it will take for someone to finally stand up and say, "Enough."

Anyone taking bets on when they rename the country back to the USSR? Because I have a feeling it's not going to be long now.

Here's a great example of violation of free speech, if anyone was still confused.

Here we see a country walking backwards from evolving with the world around it. And then there's the Ukraine thing. Oh boy... Putin, what are ya doing, man?

Shamanic Rhythm:
Why must everything be either 1984 style government control or laiz-affair he-with-the-largest-pockets dominance? Can't we strive for a system of balance and oversight?

We have that now. Libelous statements can be pursued in civil court. It's far from a perfect system, but I'd say it's a lot better than some government agency monitoring what we say to ensure that we don't get out of line. (Or say "fuck.")

Dalisclock:
Anyone taking bets on when they rename the country back to the USSR? Because I have a feeling it's not going to be long now.

Welp, haven't seen it yet and I feel this is VERY relevant to the current topic:

image

I swear this sounds like something from around 60 years ago.

Man caring so much about profanity just seems kinda juvenile to me now. I get not liking it but if you think it needs to be eradicated from the language and you dedicate yourself as a volunteer watchdog you have a problem.

They're words. If I want to talk about a woman's reproductive organs does it really matter if I call it a vagina or a cunt? No. Everyone knows what I'm talking about. Cracking down on the word cunt while letting me say any other synonym for it is just arbitrary silliness. It's policing how I speak rather than the content.

And yes I know cunt can be used as a generic insult in other contexts, it doesn't diminish my point.

Also

and then people laugh when i tell them its de facto dictatorship there.

well, i just hope most bloggers will simply use routing services to hide their IPs and continue being anonymous, making this a complete failure.

This is going to hurt. Blogging is extremely popular in Russia, and a vast majority of bloggers are anonymous (and anti-Putin, obviously). And considering most ISPs and even the most popular blogging platform in the country belong to corporations very close to the Yedinaya Rassiya party, it's going to be next to impossible to fight.
Russian blogging is going to die.

I almost wish this happened before I wrote my term paper on the subject last year. It would have made it far more interesting :P

Smilomaniac:
Actually, he just made a comment on a Danish controversy, four days ago or so. Basically the company that handles credit card and billing information in the country leaked information to a magazine. That leak turned out to be a pastime of the employees who had fun checking the history of whomever they wanted to have information about, whenever they wanted.

Ah, missed that one entirely. Good to know.

NuclearKangaroo:
i have a feeling next week we are going to be looking at some news regarding putin invading afganistan to sort out some "unfinished business"

Is it sad I kind of hope so. We as the USA could use some of the heat pulled off us. We have a shit ton of issues right now.

Elvis Starburst:
Here we see a country walking backwards from evolving with the world around it. And then there's the Ukraine thing. Oh boy... Putin, what are ya doing, man?

He's fixing what went wrong in the 90's. His supporters are those who lost what little security they had when the USSR collapsed and state assets were awarded to a pack of untouchable moguls. He operates on nostalgia for when the world feared and respected Russian might.

As for Ukraine... Remember back during the Bush administration when one of the insiders made a crack about the U.S. needing throw some crappy third-world countries against the wall to show everyone who's boss? That's Putin's strategy in a nutshell. It's a foolish, self-destructive strategy for a country, but it helps keep the ruling elite in power.

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