Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Russia: Social Media and Fake News

Yesterday, Russia's Putin signed a law into effect concerning fake news.  You might want to browse through the wording and effect:

1.  The Attorney General of Russia (and his deputies) can on their own (without a judge) decide what is fake news and what is not fake news. 

2.  After this group makes their decision, the Russia media control agency (Roskomnadzor) would be given the responsibility of blocking the news, or the site.

3.  If you did publish a fake news item?  The fine is 100,000 Rubles, roughly $1,525, if you were just a regular citizen.  If you were a public figure....double that fine.  And if you were a company (HuffPost or Twitter for example), then it's 500,000 Rubles.

4.  A news site that comes to exist without being registered with Roskomnadzor?  They'd just be immediately blocked, without any warning.

5.  Then we get to the juicy part of the law.....insulting anyone, government offices themselves, the flag, or even the Constitution itself.  Fines and two weeks in jail would be the extent of your trouble.

The odds of Twitter or Facebook being a major factor in Russian elections?  I would suggest that both will likely be shutdown for various periods of time in Russia. 

How To Fix Twitter, Facebook and the Rest

People are convinced that social media is harming the general public.....so my suggestion is this, for each tweet or Facebook comment....charge the guy $3.99, and responses to that guy's original tweet/comment....$1.99.

After a month or two, everyone would start to calm down....lessen their tweets, and calm would be restored. 

Yes, Facebook and Twitter would likely go out of business in a year or two....but that's simply the path of this whole mess.