Free Speech

by Glyn Moody


Filed Under:
censorship, free speech, memes, russia



Latest Russian Censorship Move: Banning Internet Memes Using Photos Of Celebrities

from the just-putin-it-out-there dept

For a while now, Techdirt has been tracking the continuing efforts of the Russian government to rein in the Internet, at the cost of squeezing much of the life out of it. As an article on Global Voices reports, this has now reached ridiculous levels:

Russian censors have determined that one of the most popular forms of Internet meme is illegal. According to Roskomnadzor, the Kremlin's media watchdog, it's now against the law to use celebrities' photographs in a meme, "when the image has nothing to do with the celebrity's personality."
Roskomnadzor's statement is the result of a decision by a court in Moscow, which decided that a particular photo meme violated the privacy of Russian singer Valeri Syutkin -- the Global Voices post has the fascinating details. Although no new law is involved, Roskomnadzor's power is such that it is able to make these kinds of rule changes -- and enforce them. Along with a ban on the use of celebrities' photographs in what are termed "image macros," the new ruling also forbids the creation of parody accounts or sites (original in Russian.) The key problem with the image macro part is the following:
Roskomnadzor's vague new policy threatens to do more than crack down on potentially defamatory juxtaposition, however. By saying it is illegal to add celebrities' images to memes that "have nothing to do with the celebrity's personality," the Kremlin could be opening the door to banning a whole genre of absurdist online humor.
Even if the policy is not rigorously enforced, it could have a chilling effect on the Russian online space, already under pressure because of previous censorship moves. And that's probably precisely what the authorities are seeking to achieve here. After all, when it comes to Russian celebrities' photographs with witty captions, what name springs to mind?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 4:08am

    Darn...and I just wanted to use Putin in a nive meme!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 4:10am

    Sadimir Putin is a particularly poignaimt one. Poor Vlad the Internet impaler.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 4:13am

    Yeah well I, of course, meant poignant.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 4:16am

    He'll get out of the internet what he Putin? #reallybadpuns
    Now all we need is a picture of him flying on a eagle...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 4:28am

    And there goes the Putin meme flood.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 4:46am

    Might as well shut down the internet over there.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 5:05am

    "it's now against the law to use celebrities' photographs in a meme"

    You mean like this?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3z841UJiVk

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

  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 5:05am

    Agree with AC: might as well turn off the internet.

    Though, one thing baffles me: when did Russia turn into a communist state again?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      They are not particularly communistic. It is more fascistic in nature. The policies and debate-climate around muslims in Russia and the policies of protecting russians living abroad are disturbing and generally the political situation we see there is close to the ideals behind national syndicalism, which later developed into fascism.

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

  • identicon
    avideogameplayer, 13 Apr 2015 @ 5:09am

    In Soviet Russia, the Internet censors you...

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 6:24am

    This should be interesting when it comes to advertising and television commercials. The actor or celebrity now has to be themselves.

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

  • icon
    Robert T. Best (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 6:58am

    This makes sad Keanu very sad indeed.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 10:10am

    IT went from a communist state to a neo fascist state.,
    where most of the states assets were sold off cheap,
    drilling rights etc were sold off to cronys,or oligarchs very cheap .
    OF course even if you are rich if you criticise the government you,ll be arrested or have your assets seized from you.
    A Communist state at least holds on to land , state assets
    for the people ,like in cuba ,

    where most land is owned by the government .

    OR like china you are free to make money ,
    as long as you dont get involved in politics or anti
    goverment activity.
    Most russians don,t know whats going on,as most tv stations ,big newspaper,s are government controlled .
    AS the economy was booming until 2 years ago ,
    most people were not too concerned about government corruption and bribery .

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 10:47am

    ... That is dumb. I'd think Russia would want to be able to do this since making fun of Obama is so damn easy this way.

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

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 13 Apr 2015 @ 12:51pm

    So...are they going to block imports?

    Putin is really big right now on /b/ that fecund spawning pit from which most memes crawl, nascent and muclulant.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 2:23pm

    Sad keanu seems appropriate for this news.
    Also, is Putin riding a bear or carrying a horse in line with his personality?.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2015 @ 6:41pm

    Even if the policy is not rigorously enforced...

    Selective enforcement: the favorite of governments around the world.

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

  • identicon
    mr naijaname, 27 Apr 2015 @ 5:16pm

    A Communist state at least holds on to land , state
    assets
    for the people ,like in cuba ,
    where most land is owned by the government .
    OR like china you are free to make money ,
    as long as you dont get involved in politics or anti
    goverment activity.
    Most russians don,t know whats going on,as most
    tv stations ,big newspaper,s are government
    controlled . Celebrities Sadimir Putin is a particularly poignaimt one. Poor
    Vlad the Internet impaler.

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

  • identicon
    Memes, 28 Apr 2015 @ 12:57pm

    Shut down the internet over there... Most russians don,t know whats going on,as most
    tv stations ,big newspaper,s are government
    controlled.

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

  • identicon
    Celebrity, 4 May 2015 @ 3:16am

    .

    Great post. I think it is good for visitors. I like this kind of website where has a lot of real information, It proved to be very helpful. Thanks for admin, His creativity, Presentation, Information and all is good.

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


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