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Name: RuggedRealist
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York, NY
Home country: USA
Current location: NYC
Member since: Tue Jan 4, 2005, 05:36 PM
Number of posts: 32,886

Journal Archives

Russian citizens now have to fear being tagged in the wrong Social Media post

Putin, in my humble opinion, is now officially more repressive than was Nikita Kruschev. Even Kruschev allowed fairly significant criticism of the regime and system from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who published "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" (Оди́н день Ива́на Дени́совича Odin den' Ivana Denisovicha) with permission from Kruschev and his government. Now, being tagged in the wrong article or video on Facebook, Twitter or VKontakte which makes it appear that one supports criticism of Putin's regime results in arrest or other repression in Russia.



The Russian government's excessive control over social media made international headlines last week. The state media oversight agency, at the request of prosecutors, forced the popular social network Facebook to block a support page for a Russian opposition leader and prominent anti-corruption activist, Alexei Navalny, who is on trial in a case he has called politically motivated.

But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Many social media users are finding themselves in trouble with the Russian authorities for joining groups, getting tagged, and sharing content on social media sites.

Who among us has not been tagged in an unflattering photo or an offensive post? It might lead us to wonder why we took that group picture after midnight or raise some eyebrows at work. It might also make us regret the evaporation of privacy. But it should not lead to legal trouble with the authorities. Yet this is precisely what happened to a woman in Perm, Russia.

In September, Yevgeniya Vychigina was prosecuted and fined for being tagged by a friend in a so-called "extremist" video on the Russian social media site VKontakte. Featuring interviews with self-styled "partisans" who attacked police officers, the video was undeniably controversial. Yet Vychigina was no partisan. She was neither in the video nor supported the video's message.

Her friend simply wanted her to watch it, and she claims to have accepted the tag without watching the video. After she accepted the video, it appeared on Vychigina's Vkontakte page, leading a court to fine her for "disseminating extremist materials." The case reveals the absurd and alarming scope of Internet censorship in Russia.
(More at above link)
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