Internet Democracy in Russia

I’m rather annoyed with Mother Russia these days, and not just because Lenin is my buddy in Intro to Design.  I was just reading this article, Moscow police beat anti-Putin protesters , and it talks of Putin’s opposition groups getting beaten down when they voice their opinion.  Current protests are ending in violence, and after reading much about Lenin and demonstrations lately, violence from either side leads to no good.  Apparently Russia is also accusing the US and West of funding opposition groups – anything to further alienate itself.  Though Russia had a lot of freedom after communism fell, the political grip just gets tighter and tighter these days.  Take for instance, Channel One – the NBC or ABC of Russia.  It was once privately owned and thus there was wide control of what was shown…However, the politics began to feel a little threatened, and before you know it, the owner of that channel is now in exile in England, and the channel is now in state control (long story, of course).

I watch Channel One news regularly – I enjoy its perspective of what is going on in the world sometimes more honest and refreshing), and laugh at its silly propaganda like segments that occasionally appear.  However, my husband and I were both quite disturbed on a segment on the movie “300.”  According to the newscasters, this movie was created by Americans to show their dominance over Iraq, since Persia is the enemy in the film.  America makes a big enough fool of itself these days, we don’t need stupid interpretations like this on top of it.  And anyway, if Americans are the Arcadians in the film, didn’t the heroic group dies (though valiantly) in the end?  Good ol’ Americans want victory and maybe a valiant death in addition.  Anyway, the movie was based on a comic book, right?  But Russia wants to side with Iran ($$$), so wonderful little clips like this spreading around 11 times zones do wonders for stiring up dust.

TV may be under control, but thankfully the Internet is still fair game.  I feel that all is not lost of Russia’s free thought and speach – it grows stronger and stronger as each town and city hops onto the net.  Countless blogs elaborate frustrations and thoughts, and a myriad of diverse online groups fill the void that might otherwise exist.  While this vast country has a lot of places that are out of reach form the rest of the world, it’s more and more getting connected – even my mother is a penpal to a58 year old englishteacher in a remote Siberian town.  If grandmas in Siberia are surfing the net, just about anyone is open to a vast ocean of diverse ideas and thoughts.  So, Putin, go ahead and take over TV and newspapers…until you take over the internet, there’s still a little democracy out there…and don’t you get any ideas.


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One response to “Internet Democracy in Russia

  1. One of the best parts of being apart of this class is seeing all of the various perspectives on things. Lets all keep your fingers crossed for Russia and the hope for internet freedom.

    One thing to look into is the Great Firewall of China. Talk about filtering of information… I was over there about 5 years ago and it was wild the sites from the west that were blocked.

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