Safe Internet League demands VKontakte to rid the network of extremist and separatist information


VKontakte owners have been called to pay attention to the proliferation of materials of extremist and separatist nature within the social network. The address, signed by Safe Internet League Chairman of the Board Denis Davydov, has been forwarded to the social networking site’s CEO Boris Dobrodeyev and head of UMS Group (principal shareholder of Mail.Ru Group, the owners of VKontakte) Alisher Usmanov.

«A recent inspection of the VKontakte social network, carried out by members of Safe Internet League’s Cyberguard movement, has shown that it contains tens of thousands of messages containing anti-Russian propaganda, extremist and separatist information. In particular, there were 23 000 explicitly anti-Russian messages containing the derogatory word «Rashka» and 30 000 messages promoting and heroizing the ISIL terror group sent in July. Also, the network has pro-ISIL public groups advertising the terrorist organization and encouraging VKontakte users to take part in its activities» specified Safe Internet League. The League’s address also reminded that dissemination of such information is illegal under Russian laws (Federal Law no. 149-FZ of 27.07.2006 On Information, Information Technologies, and Protection of Information) and Web pages containing it are subject to immediate blacklisting. In that regard, the Safe Internet League calls upon VKontakte administration to take steps to remove the illegal content. In its turn, the League is ready to provide them with expert support and commit all of its Cyberguards to monitor the social network and detect the pages containing illegal information.

In addition to that, Safe Internet League specialists pointed out that VKontakte’s User Agreement makes no separate mention of the fact that distributing separatist materials on the social network is prohibited and illegal (while doing so in case of extremist materials). Given that the issue of separatism is the most acute problem for the Russian Federation at the moment, the Safe Internet League insists that VKontakte’s User Agreement must include a separate clause prohibiting its users to call to violate the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. League specialists believe users violating of proposed clause should have their personal pages and the separatist groups created by them blocked.

It is to be reminded that the meeting of Cyberguard volunteers that took place late this August has witnessed the Safe Internet League announce it was expanding its Internet operations to encompass combatting not only child pornography and promotion of illegal drugs and suicide but also separatist and extremist activities online. In particular, it will have the Internet monitored for dangerous information, as well as develop a standard of responding to such material and the persons distributing it. The League’s official website is soon to have a hotline where Cyberguard volunteers or any conscientious citizens can report Web pages containing dangerous extremist and separatist content. The organization’s specialists would analyse the reports and, if the information is confirmed, approach Roskomnadzor or the page’s owner directly demanding the illegal content to be deleted.