Staunton, December 24 – The Media Guard organization, which has been organized by United Russia’s Young Guard group, says that residents in the two capitals are far more likely to visit sites containing information the authorities have banned as extremist than are Russians in other regions of the country.
Anna Rogacheva, the head of Media Guard, says that her group has identified 786 sites carrying banned stories about drugs, suicides and extremism and sent its findings to the Russian government authorities so that they can take action to block these sites (ng.ru/politics/2017-12-18/3_7139_internet.html).
According to her, 185 of these sites contained “propaganda of extremism and terrorism.” But what is especially concerning, Rogacheva continued, is that these sites are directed at and reaching far larger audiences in Moscow and St. Petersburg than they are in Russian cities elsewhere in the country.
Muscovites constitute “almost 38 percent” of the visitors to these sites, she reports; Petersburgers, 20.1 percent, Samara residents 2.64 percent, Yekaterinburgers 2.32 percent, Vladivostok residents, 2.02 percent, Yaroslavl residents 1.94 percent; and Krasnodar residents 1.69 percent.
Rogacheva said that in the view of her group, the authorities should focus on this pattern and take action, although she quickly added that in her view, the powers that be have done a good job in reducing the number of such sites and the visitors to them over the last year. But since 70 million Russians now go online each day, the battle must be stepped up.