Experts believe that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has possibly discovered a substance which, when injected into journalists, causes them to write utter drivel. Suspicions have been growing for some time that Mr Putin has been developing such a chemical, but what once might have been consigned to the realm of conspiracy theories can, according to the experts, no longer be dismissed.
On Monday, a Russian state prosecutor called for prominent blogger and oppositionist Anton Nossik to be sentenced to two years in a penal colony for publishing “extremist statements” online. Nossik, one of the “founding fathers” of the Russian internet, was charged in February for publishing a blog post on his Live Journal account entitled “Wipe Syria from the Face of the Earth.”
Prosecutors allege that Nossik violated Article 282 of the Russian Criminal Code, “Incitement of Hatred or Enmity, as well as Abasement of Human Dignity,” which carries with it a maximum penalty of 4 years in prison.
Russia’s winters just got a lot colder: last week, the government banned PornHub. Given that 92% of all Internet use in Russia involves porn (according to one estimate) this is great news for Netflix subscribers—streaming video is going to be a lot faster.
Russia is far from alone in blocking porn sites: it now belongs in the excellent company of Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Botswana, and Sudan. Still, there are plenty of compelling rationales for banning or restricting pornography: feminist arguments (about exploitation of women), sex-positive arguments (about providing unrealistic and even harmful models of sex to virginal minors), and even anti-chafing arguments (about the industry’s role in driving pubic hair to the edge of extinction).
Sadly, none of these are the arguments invoked by Russia’s media watchdog, Roskomnadzor.
This building, home to Russia’s lower house of parliament, is known as the Duma. The term is tied to the idea of thinking, and those who thought that the United Russia party would increase their hold on power were thinking correctly.