Russians Censor Website About Russians Censoring Websites

from the we've-gone-meta dept

There are a few things that seem fairly clear about the Russian government. First, it loves to censor stuff, preferring whitelists to blacklists. Secondly, the Russian government isn't so big on this whole free speech thing, and it's even less enthused about anonymous speech. Also, we know that the Russian government likes to limit what it calls "obscenities," which not only feature your common curse words and YouTube style internet comments, but also anyone who is gay and likes being gay enough to tell someone else that being gay ain't so bad. And, finally, I now know the Russian government sucks at irony.

I say that because a language art website in Russia that published a bunch of satirical material on how gay people give the Kremlin the censorious heebie-jeebies has been itself censored.
In August, Russian-language art website published two satirical ebooks spoofing Russia's new anti-gay propaganda" laws, Homosexuality for Kids and Lesbianism for Kids. Now, they along with their entire blogging platform, is apparently banned in Russia. The two gay "guidebooks" are full of explicit images and tongue-in-cheek pronouncements like "Sometimes, when you look at another boy, you suddenly feel happy and strange." But as Animal New York points out, "one look through them and you know they're not gay textbooks for children. If you don't, you are silly or tyrannical Kremlin minion."
Methinks the Russian government doth protest too much. That aside, here's the lesson for all of you interested in civics: authoritarian regimes suck because they have no sense of humor. When you can't let an art site poke fun at you, you've lost all governing perspective and you should expect the revolution to begin post-haste, because if there's something people won't put up with it's the inability to have a laugh.

Meanwhile, back in the non-hissy-fit world, this censoring by Russia is Streisanding the blocked site to world's attention.
Luckily for Looo.ch, being banned by one of America's geopolitical adversaries is a great way to get blogs to write about you here in the U.S.. So what is looo.ch? It's the online home of New York-based Ukranian artists Anatoli Ulyanov and Natasha Masharova. The site is a raw, intriguing collection of projects, many of which seem to be direct provocations of Russia's overzealous web censors, recently empowered by the blacklist law that allows sites to be blocked if they are deemed to contain "information dangerous for children."
Ah, the "for the children" excuse to silence political opponents. And oldie but a goldie, as they say, except that a previously minor website's message is now front and center in the news. Your move, humorless Russian censor-borgs!


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 6:51am

    Note to self, don't start a website in Russia about how not to be murdered.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    It's censorship all the way down!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 7:06am

    Re: Russians Censor Website About Russians Censoring Websites

    Tautology, much?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Liz (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 7:17am

    I'm sure there's a "Yo Dawg" meme in here somewhere.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    And, finally, I now know the Russian government sucks at irony.

    Do you know what would have made it truly ironic?
    authoritarian regimes suck because they have no sense of humor.
    ... If the US or UK governments had issued that statement...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Pickle Monger (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 7:46am

    Back in the good ole days...

    Back in the days of Iron Curtain we had a joke: in the West, what isn't forbidden is allowed, but in Soviet Union what isn't expressely allowed is forbidden. It's more concise and laconic in Russian but you get the point. Looks like nothing has changed there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    paragon, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 7:51am

    It's been scientifically proven that paranoid homophobes are almost always latent homosexuals.

    See here:
    http://my.psychologytoday.com/files/u47/Henry_et_al.pdf

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 26th, 2013 @ 8:13am

    and they have just locked up a member of Green Peace for trying to stop Arctic oil drilling! Russia is gonna do whatever it wants! like all countries, the government has the last word, until voted out. funny how things change completely from pre-election to post-election attitudes. the problem is, other countries, the USA, UK, being prime examples, are following in the footsteps!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Silver Fang (profile), Sep 26th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Hope the Russian people have access to good VPNs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Leonardo Balliache, Sep 30th, 2013 @ 8:54am

    Communist yet?

    Communist ideology is not dead, simply is taking a break.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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