August 13, 2022

Fighting Extremism, or Censoring the Truth?


Fighting Extremism, or Censoring the Truth?
Can you hear the *click* and *clack*? Pexels, Markus Winkler

On August 8, Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov reported that 138,000 websites, including Instagram and Facebook, have been either banned or deleted in Russia. According to Krasnov, websites are being censored by Roskomnadzor at an increased rate in order to fight off terrorism, extremism, and “fake news.” 

Roskomnadzor is an agency of the Russian Federation tasked with censoring and controlling mass media. It is no secret that the Kremlin seeks to create a false reality regarding the invasion of Ukraine through the media. For example, the Kremlin refers to the deadly invasion as a “special military operation” rather than a "war." Anything reported through mass media differing from the perspective the Kremlin seeks to convey is taken down.

New legislation even allows for the prosecution of individuals for spreading “misinformation” or “fake news.” This may include information that criticizes the Kremlin or the invasion of Ukraine.

The standard sentence for those who break this law is fifteen years.

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