Safe Internet League CEO: “YouTube LLC loosing its case against Rospotrebnadzor was something to be expected”


A case brought by YouTube LLC against Rospotrebnadzor for putting a web page with a pro-suicide video on the official Russian Internet Blacklist has been dismissed by the Moscow Arbitration court this Monday, May 6.

The case involved an online video with a self-explanatory title «How to slit your wrists» hosted by YouTube, the largest video hosting service, owned by Google. «The committee of experts, including specialists from the State Research Institute of Social and Forensic Psychiatry, have unanimously found the video to contain illegal material, namely, encouragement to suicide, albeit posed as a Halloween preparation instruction», explained Safe Internet League CEO Denis Davydov.

Consequently, in November 2012 YouTube LLC was notified of the video being blacklisted, demanding it to be removed. Rospotrebnadzor’s official statement says that the company «[F]ailed to remove the video within the space of three months set by the Russian laws, doing so later only as part of its appeal against Rospotrebnadzor».

Commenting on the Administrative court’s ruling, Mr Davydov hailed it as «a victory for common sense». «YouTube LLC losing the case, despite attempting to „justify“ its position with non-legal means, was really something to be expected. Let me remind you that Rospotrebnadzor has openly accused the company of employing extralegal means of settling the case. We hope that, continuing it operation in the Russian Federation, a respectable company such as Google will from now on respect and observe the laws of our country».

We would like to remind you that the Safe Internet League lead the efforts to amend Federal Law no. 149 «On Information, Information Technologies, and Information Protection» to include, among others, the provision for establishing the official Russian Internet Blacklist. The Blacklist includes web pages containing information dangerous for minors. Responsibility for running the Blacklist was entrusted to three governmental agencies: Roskomnadzor (child pornography), Federal Drug Control Service (promotion of illegal drug use), and Rospotrebnadzor (encouragement of suicide). 1804 reports of pro-suicide content have been received by Rospotrebnadzor between November 1, 2012 and April 25, 2013. Following the scrutiny, in 1676 of these instances a decision to shut down the dangerous web page had been made. According to Rospotrebnadzor’s figures, the majority of illegal materials are hosted on social networking sites, prominent web search engines, and video hosting services. Of these, topping the list are Google (53 web pages blocked, with 2 found not containing illegal material) and YouTube (61 web page blocked, with 4 found not containing illegal material).