Amid an escalating national debate about social media users being jailed for offensive memes, President Vladimir Putin has stepped in to lament the lack of positivity found online.
Russian activists have ramped up calls to decriminalize laws that make posting religiously insensitive, hateful or other “extremist” content on social media a jailable offense. Vkontakte, the social network that has been accused of providing the most case materials to authorities, announced steps this week to improve privacy settings for users.
Vkontakte Announces Privacy Reforms After Spate of Extremism Prosecutions
At a youth forum in the North Caucasus on Wednesday, Putin lauded its participants for spreading their work on social media “with the utmost of positivity.”
“It’s that positivity that’s missing on social networks,” the state-run TASS news agency quoted him as saying.
“It’s 100 percent needed on the networks,” Putin added.
A day earlier, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov reportedly admitted that some criminal cases involving online activity “were beyond the realm of common sense.”