Russia Declares War on Memes
Ashley Allen / 5 years ago
In the spirit of perestroika, Russia has announced that is declaring война on the very lifeblood of the internet: memes; or, more accurately, memes that specifically mock Russian public figures. Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media and internet regulator, has introduced a new law aimed at protecting the “honor, dignity and business of public figures.” A meme that falls foul of that law is “when the image has nothing to do with the celebrity’s personality,” which is suitably vague enough to be abused at will.
The law only applies within Russian territory, so we’re free to post images like this:
Though, even if we were in Russia and subject to this law, to consider the above images as ones that undermine Vladimir Putin’s honour and dignity is to acknowledge that the man is anything other than superhuman, and that can’t be right, can it? Regardless, both depict the Russian President in a more heroic light than anything based in reality.
The law has already been enforced on behalf of Eighties Russian popstar Valeri Syutkin, who took great exception to an image of his face that bore the words “smack the bitch in the face.” Syutkin, who at no point during his career marketed himself as “smacking” any “bitches” in their faces, or any other places, was thus entitled to prosecute the offending image.
A question that Roskomnadzor has so far failed to answer is, where does that leave Soviet baritone treasure Eduard Khil, aka Mr. Trololo?
Thank you A.V. Club for providing us with this information.
Images courtesy of reddit.