MOSCOW, Russia (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed his administration to study a rumoured new system for banning “toxic” online content, however no specifics have been disclosed about the system yet.
“A self-regulated register of dangerous content,” according to the Kremlin website’s listing of presidential directives, would be used to “guard kids” under the age of majority in the country. It would be reviewed by the Kremlin by the first of June.
The directive, which had a deadline of Thursday, was first reported on Saturday by Russian media outlets.
According to Putin, preparations for a more comprehensive crackdown on online content are in the works. He blames the internet for corrupting children and igniting street rallies by political opponents who have been labelled extremists by the government.
Last year, Russia increased its pressure on Western technology companies, issuing sanctions that included a roughly $100 million charge against Google for failing to delete content that had been blocked.
Vladimir Putin expressed support for a proposal from a member of his human rights council for a new voluntary method to restrict harmful information, which Russian online platforms would agree to in exchange for preferential treatment compared to foreign platforms, which was made in December.