Over 500 Russian bloggers get media status

The personal web pages of over 500 politicians and other prominent persons have received new status following amendments to the law On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection, which require popular bloggers to assume media obligations in their publications, took effect, Izvestia reported on May 27.

Arguably the most popular Russian blogger, Ilya “zyalt” Varlamov. Source: ITAR-TASS

The personal web pages of over 500 politicians and other prominent persons have received new status following amendments to the law On Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection, which require popular bloggers to assume media obligations in their publications, took effect, Izvestia reported on May 27.

"Over 500 people have now registered as bloggers who have more than 3,000 visits a day and who have assumed media obligations. Many of them, about half of them, are well-known politicians," Roskomnadzor press officer Vadim Ampelonsky told Izvestia.

"As to fines, there were 2-3 cases. But they were not given to the bloggers, we can\'t fine them by law, they were given to the Internet platforms where the bloggers accounts are hosted," Ampelonsky said.

In the meantime, according to Izvestia, the main Internet platforms that have tense relations with Roskomnadzor are the foreign social networking sites Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

According to Izvestia, Roskomnadzor Director Alexander Zharov on May 18 sent letters to the companies managing these social networking sites demanding compliance with the Russian law on bloggers, specifically, in the disclosure of information on daily visits to specific accounts. Facebook, Google and Twitter belong to U.S. jurisdiction, the paper says.

The Russian legislation, including the legislation on fines, may affect these organizations only if they engage in financial activities on the territory of Russia, which enables them to be skeptical about letters and recommendations issued by Roskomnadzor; except for Google, which has a subsidiary in Russia, the paper says.

State Duma deputy Vadim Dengin, who initiated this law, told Izvestia that the law has justified itself and has not harmed anyone.

"All bloggers continue working, no one is in jail, not one limits themselves as regards the issues addressed. It's just that there is less rudeness now," Dengin said.

 

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