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Putin orders apparent new system to ban internet content

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with government officials via video link in Moscow, Russia January 12, 2022. Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky/Kremlin via REUTERS

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MOSCOW, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his administration to consider an apparent new system to ban “toxic” content on the internet, although details were not disclosed.

The new system, contained in a list of presidential orders on the Kremlin’s website, was described as a “self-regulating registry of toxic content” that would be used “to protect minors”. The Kremlin would review it by June 1.

The order, dated Thursday, was first reported by Russian media on Saturday.

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Putin has hinted at plans for a more sweeping crackdown on online content, accusing the internet of corrupting young people and fueling street protests by political opponents labeled as extremists by authorities.

Russia stepped up pressure on foreign tech companies last year, imposing sanctions including a nearly $100 million fine on Google (GOOGL.O) for failing to remove banned content. Read more

In December, Putin signaled his support for a proposal by a member of his human rights council for a new voluntary mechanism to ban toxic content, which Russian online platforms would accept in exchange for being treated as preference to foreign platforms.

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Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova Editing by Peter Graff

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