Blogging in Russia gets regulated

Friday, 1 August, 2014

Everyone should read Behind the Scenes in Putin’s Court: The Private Habits of a Latter-Day Dictator by Ben Judah. It’s one of the finest pieces of magazine writing in ages. Not a sparrow seems to fall in the forest that the Kremlin leader is unaware of. Take blogging. Putin recently signed an amendment to Russian communications law that allows the creation of a registry of bloggers. From now on, any blogger with more than 3,000 readers is invited to sign up, but registration is mandatory if the Russian telecommunications regulator, Roskomnadzor, demands it. Oh, an registered bloggers have to disclose their identity, avoid hate speech and obscene language.

Among those who have received notices include satirist Mikhail Zadornov, travel photographer Sergey Dolya, political writer Eduard Limonov and Ashot Gabrelyanov, CEO of News Media. Not that their leader really cares about their obscure postings. According to Ben Judah:

“The President rarely uses the internet. He finds the screens within screens and the bars building up with messages confusing. However, from time to time, his advisers have shown some satirical online videos: he must know how they mock him. His life has become ceremonial: an endless procession of gilded rooms. His routine is parcelled up into thousands of units of 15 minutes and planned for months, if not years ahead. Following his morning review the schedule folders embossed with the eagle are presented to him. After glancing at them, he follows the plan: without a smile or a joy.”

Filed in: Russia

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