If you live in Russia and get over 3,000 daily viewers, you might be classified as one. You don’t even need to be reporting the news, just have a popular blog and make note of a controversial subject of any kind I was told. If you meet this criteria and live in Russia, you have to register with the mass media regulator and turn over your personal data to the government. Stuff you learn abroad…
Get your ducks in a row because bloggers will be held liable for misinformation and opinion too, even if written by people commenting on a blog post. If I say anything derogatory about the Kremlin for instance, they can ban my blog from being read in that country as is my understanding. No being loose as a goose!
Do you know where your readers originate? I have an app that tells me, and oddly, I have not had visits from Russia for quite a while and previously had quite a few. It never dawned on me that my blog may have been cited for exclusion.
Funny to have to travel the world to find out things happening there. Funny too as it has been part of Russian news from earlier this year and the law went into effect mid-year. I just missed this tidbit of blogging news. I also missed not having Russian viewers until I looked recently. But also, I found this news not to be especially surprising considering the news coming from the Ukraine. I would guess the blogs in that region are smoking with daily reports, objections and disapproval. Like I mentioned on the post Back Home From Eastern Europe, people in those countries are divided on what they think of Russia.
Ducks With Attitude
In brief, the restrictions include verifying information before publishing, abstaining from slander, extremist views or leading advice on suicide or hate speech. The law bans popular bloggers from using naughty language, inciting or giving heavy criticism and bullying from the online viewers. To combat the loss of free speech… fly somewhere else….just kidding…
Some well-known blogs and blogging platforms are now limiting showing subscribers to less than 2,500 for this reason. Since my blog has more than that and I have had days of over 3,000 views, maybe it is time to shut down the visible stats. I reset overall stats on occasion so the total number never shows, but never thought the number of subscribers could be a hindrance.
I guess in a way, Russia is on to something because bloggers tend to be a gossipy group taking aim at public figures and hitting well below the belt. Frequently, people anonymously say what is on their mind, knowing they face little or no consequence. In fact, the more controversial, the more readers.
And some do much more than just attract readers, they get them to follow a line of thinking and that has a tendency to attract negative attention – like hate speech for instance.
I have often thought there are snippy bloggers out there, some with opinions that should be kept to themselves, others that speak on things they know nothing about and some having commentary on things that should remain unspoken. Some, the honesty and forthright integrity are refreshing in blogging genres that overtly pour on the fake niceties though. There are all kinds of bloggers.
Recently, with the state of world affairs, curbing internet anarchy may not be such a bad thing. Look at headline news on ISIS and Boko Haram and their ability to promote their horrific acts? Internet “taming” is not such a new thing with governments like those in China, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey, and this year, Russia having stricter control of censorship. Ironically, in the wake of revelations about NSA and GCHQ spying, it is a little hypocritical of our country to spank Russia’s behind on this move. What’s good for the goose, so the saying goes.
The personal records of bloggers (and their publications) and the servers that hold them should be kept within Russia’s borders according to their wishes. But, the law does not make certain whether platforms that primarily operate outside of Russia, Google or Facebook for instance, will have to store data in Russia if they want to continue publishing there.
Can you just see Russian tanks lining up on the virtual front to keep bloggers in line? With all the nasty postings on the web, we are still lucky in this country to still have the freedom to write what we desire. We have the First Amendment to thank… infringing on the freedom of the press. Precisely what successful bloggers in Russia are considered – the press.
Are you racking up these numbers or stating poignant opinion where your blog could be banned? Just post pretty pictures (I added ducks because who finds ducks controversial – barring those few geese that annoy people) – and talk like an expert on common things everyone can easily Google, and your blogging future will be golden. Just keep the quacking to a minimum.
A photography post on Nature and Wildlife Pics. While playing “photography teacher” on my trip, I ran into a problem I could not resolve. Cropping an Image – Why? Because I Like It That Way. Also, The Land of Few Birds.