Russia Censors sites Like Facebook, Twitter to protect children

YouTube logoRussia is using a new law to block certain internet content that is considered unsafe for children's eyes.

The law, passed in November 2012, allows the Russian government to remove internet content on websites like Facebook and Twitter if it is deemed harmful for children.

So far, both Facebook and Twitter have complied with the Russian government. Facebook took down a group called "Club Suicid," which promoted suicide. Twitter also removed tweets that promoted ideas of suicide and some that even attempted to deal illegal drugs.

YouTube, on the other hand, has given the Russian government a hard time about the new law. Russia wanted to remove a video that they believed promoted suicide, but YouTube said it was just a video for entertainment -- which shows how to make a fake wound with makeup and a razor blade.

YouTube launched a lawsuit in a Russian court in February, arguing that it shouldn't have to block the video.

While the law is aimed to protect children from seeing harmful content on the internet, some fear that the government could abuse it. Right now, there are a lot of Facebook groups that oppose President Vladimir V. Putin, and the government could remove such pages staging protests.

Likely, many are hoping Russia doesn't eventually lead to heavy internet censorship like China and Iran. Iran just announced last month that it was beefing up its internet censorship with a proxy crackdown.

Countries like North Korea have banned the Internet entirely. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt went to North Korea in January of this year in an effort to end this internet ban and spread the use of Google's Android operating system.

Source: DailyTech

Tags: Russia, social networks, YouTube

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