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.

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  • icon
    Dave Cortright (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 11:13am

    *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...

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 11:30am

      Re: *approximate maximum values; actual numbers may be lower

      Even better, since government agencies love to force companies to report stuff like that in 'ranges':

      '... showing between 1-2,999 visitors per day'

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2015 @ 12:17pm

        Re: Re: *approximate maximum values; actual numbers may be lower

        Showing that between 1 - 1 million visitors per day.

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

    • icon
      Tracyanne (profile), 9 Jan 2015 @ 5:02pm

      Re: *approximate maximum values; actual numbers may be lower

      Why should they be dated 4th of January 2015

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

  • identicon
    Michael, 9 Jan 2015 @ 12:44pm

    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.”

    They should lower those in the Russian government first.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jan 2015 @ 2:30pm

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

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really believe that that law actually belongs TO the bloggers?

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

  • identicon
    Dale, 10 Jan 2015 @ 12:39pm

    CCCP

    “access to the best sports tips in the Commonwealth of Independent States” So does the "Commonwealth of Independent States" translate to CCCP? Might as well.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Jan 2015 @ 3:33am

    Hmmm, Russians should start registering all porn blogs and then these porn blogs should start posting nasty stuff (ie: Putin ero fan fiction). Should be entertaining to see the reactions.

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


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