Russia censors "suicide" websites

The Russian government has started enforcing a new law that gives it the power to block internet content deemed illegal or harmful to children. 

Regulators have asked Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to take down content deemed objectionable by party officials, reports The New York Times. YouTube resisted the effort, after authorities asked it to remove a video that supposedly promoted suicide. 

Supporters of the law claim that it is focused on controlling child pornography and sensitive content, such as sites that promote drug use and suicide. They believe that nobody in Putin’s Russian utopia has a reason to take their own life or the urge to take drugs. 

However, opposition leaders have raised quite a few questions about the law, which seems to be rather vague and leaves the door open to broader censorship. They expressed fears that social networks used to organize protests against Putin might be stifled. The measures could also negatively reflect on Russia’s image abroad, they argue. 

Facebook already agreed to take down a group called Club Suicid, while Twtitter deleted posts related to illegal drug deals, as well as three posts promoting “suicidal thoughts,” which for some strange reason seem to be quite commonplace in Putin’s paradise.