369 Bloggers Have Registered Under Russia's New Blogger's Law

from the some-still-say-fuck dept

Last year, we wrote about Russia’s ridiculous new law that requires bloggers/social media users with more than 3,000 visitors per day to register with the government. Recently, we noted that Intel had shut down its Russian forums and blogs because of that law. But who is registering? Global Voices has the details on the 369 blogs and social media accounts that have currently registered.

They also asked the Kremlin why anyone would want to register — and were told that registering could help attract more advertising dollars. But then, my favorite bit:

When asked how he would evaluate the effectiveness of the blogger law, Zharov said he would weigh the extent to which it succeeds in improving the ?quality? of Russian blogging, by which he meant lowering the amount ?profanity, unverified information, and libel.?

Yeah, sure, it’s all about reducing “profanity” and not about silencing criticism, right? Oh, and if reducing profanity is the goal, this seems to be doing fuck all in helping with that:

Three of the 369 blogs on Roskomnadzor?s registry contain the word ?fuck? in their names. One of these three is the Vkontakte community ?Fuckbet,? a sports analysis website that provides ?access to the best sports tips in the Commonwealth of Independent States? (presumably as an aid to individuals betting on the games). Another of this trio is ?Fuck_Humor,? a Vkontakte group that specializes in amusing memes. One of the community?s most recent posts features a joke about fellatio, depicting what looks to be semen on a young girl?s thigh.

Last year, we had also pointed out that Russian officials were threatening to block both Twitter and Facebook for not cooperating with the government’s new registry plans. The Global Voices article notes that since Twitter is not cooperating at all on this registry effort, the Russian government has been reduced — no joke — to begging Russian Twitter users to post screenshots of their analytics page so the government can determine if they’re getting too many visitors.

When it comes to Twitter accounts, Roskomnadzor seems to have relied similarly on volunteers, as the ten Twitter users who now appear on the blogger registry are mostly pro-Kremlin media figures (plus a few Internet celebrities).

In fact, Roskomnadzor?s desperation with Twitter led it last month to solicit bloggers directly, and rather embarrassingly, for ?screenshots? of their analytics data, which Twitter has refused to provide to the Russian government.

It’s still unclear what Russia is going to do with those who have chosen not to sign up for the registry, but this move is still concerning for supporters of free speech and the right to express yourself anonymously.

Filed Under: , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “369 Bloggers Have Registered Under Russia's New Blogger's Law”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Dave Cortright says:

*approximate maximum values; actual numbers may be lower

If I were at Twitter, I would release document of the analytics of all Twitter accounts showing 2,999 visitors per day, with an asterisk at the very end saying:

*approximate maximum values; actual numbers may be lower. Our analytic system was coded by top Russian government lackeys. YMMV.

To further hammer the point home, the mod date of the document should be 4/1/2015.

Maybe someone should create an “official” @TwitterRU account to help disseminate “information” to the Russian govt…

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...