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State Duma Approves Bill Classifying Bloggers as Mass Media

Published: April 20, 2014 (Issue # 1806)



  • The State Duma has voted to give bloggers the same responsibility for their publications as journalists.
    Photo: S. Porter for Vedomosti

An amendment to an anti-terrorism bill passed by the State Duma will allow Russian bloggers to be prosecuted for publishing content that is deemed a threat to national security.

The State Duma on Friday voted to categorize blogs as media entities during the second reading of a package of anti-terrorism bills prepared in the wake of last December's twin bombings in Volgograd.

According to the amendment, proposed by A Just Russia deputy Alexei Mitrofanov and Liberal Democratic party deputies Andrei Lugovoi and Vadim Dengin, any blogger, social network site, or personal website receiving more than 3,000 hits a day with commercial advertising on their blog will fall under the same category as other online media.

This means that bloggers will have to verify the accuracy of the information they post, adhere to campaign laws and refrain from publishing any material that could be considered "extremist."

Individuals deemed to be in violation of the amendment could be fined anywhere between 10,000-30,000 rubles ($280-$840) for a first-time offense, and between 30,000-50,000 rubles for repeating the offense within a year.

Legal entities could be fined from 50,000-300,000 rubles for breaching the amendment. If they repeat the offense within a year, they could be fined anywhere between 300,000-500,000 or face a 30-day ban on their administrative activity.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 21


Time is running out to see the fantastic creations on display at the 2014 Sand Castle Festival on the beach at the Peter and Paul Fortress. Adhering to the theme of Treasure Island, visitors can wander amongst larger-than-life interpretations of pirate life or attend one of the workshops held to educate a future generation of sand artists. The castles will remain on the beach until Aug. 31.



Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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