Russia Bans Memes Portraying Public Figures


According to an announcement made this week by Russia’s Media Agency/Internet censors Roskomnadzor, it is illegal for Russian citizens to publish memes that depict public figures in a way that “has no relation to [their]personality”.


The announcement states that a violation of the legislation on personal data in relation to public figures will include:

  • Creating a fake/parody account on behalf of a public person (name, position, date of birth, photo, etc.). and its use (posts, comments). ·
  • Creating a fake/parody site or public personality dedicated to the professional and social activities of a public personality. ·
  • Use of the photo as/of a public person for impersonation or popular Internet meme, unrelated to the personal identity of a “celebrity,” that defames the honor, dignity and business reputation of the public persons.

Roscomnadzor stated that it will issue the demand to remove such illegal information, if not removed, they will sue.

But the Internet loves to meme Mr Putin. He’s often found riding around message boards on everything from a Ritz cracker to a weasel on the back of a flying woodpecker or leading a pack of flying grizzly bears with laser vision.

wtfputin-riding_o_1616963B1hywsCCQAEJUQx (1)Putin+riding+Felix_4f907c_4180636

The Washington Post reports:

The ban came after a legal complaint from Russian singer Valeri Syutkin about a meme which falsely associated him with domestic violence. A court ruling that Syutkin had the right to ask Lurkmore, a website described by Vocativ as “the Wikipedia of Russian memes”, to take the image down – promoted the Roskomnadzor announcement.

Under Russian Federal Law 398-FZ Roskomnadzor is allowed to block websites without a court order.



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