Russia's bid to combat fake news

In future Russian authorities will be allowed to block online media when the public prosecutor concludes that they spread fake news. Media that show "blatant disrespect" for the state and authorities will face fines and even prison sentences. What will be the consequences of the new law, which was passed in summary proceedings and named after the member of the Duma Andrei Klishas?

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taz, die tageszeitung (DE) /

Moscow's double standards

The law will be used mainly against members of the opposition, the taz fears:

“As is customary in Russia, the corresponding passages in the legislation are intentionally kept vague. For good reason. Because that way it will be even easier to ban content that the state deems damaging - for itself and for its image, of course. Just how well the control mania works is demonstrated by Roskomnadzor, the Federal Service for the Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, which has repeatedly blocked Internet sites in the past. ... What is striking about all this is that it's always the opposition figures and regime critics who produce and publish fake news. And there we have it again: the double standards that Moscow likes to accuse the decadent West of having.”

Radio Kommersant FM (RU) /

Using old guns against modern technology

For Radio Kommersant FM the initiative stands little chance of being effective:

“Although they make a big splash, such laws accomplish precious little. ... The state is launching a crusade against the Internet. The Klishas laws are part of this sweeping programme. ... But the battle against the Internet isn't an easy one: the biggest problem being the ineffectiveness of the state and its eternal bureaucracy. For example: by the time a piece of fake news reaches the prosecution and the prosecution can make a decision, it's too late to delete it. It's difficult to tackle the technologies of the future when you're still living in the past.”