Self-Censorship and Online Political Debates in Russia after the 24 February, 2022
- Date: –17:00
- Location: IRES Library, Gamla torget 3, 3rd floor
- Lecturer: Ekaterina Grishaeva, University of Bremen
- Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
- Contact person: Mattias Vesterlund
This presentation will address Russian internet users’ resilience to censorship that occurred during the first days of Russian military activities in Ukraine.
The Russian state has steady enforced its control over the internet since 2012 when digital media were widely used for protest mobilisation and coordination. The state implemented a series of laws that allow the removal of unwanted content and restrict access to regime-critical media, implement digital surveillance, and increase fear and self-censorship among netizens. However, as Druzin and Gordon (2017) note, on the internet censorship can never be complete since it can be ridden over through various technical means, self-censorship is also fragile since it is based on vague norms which can be breached by radical or/and unaware users. Thus, online public debates in Russia are structured by self-censorship as well as by breaching its norms – people keep on discussing political issues online.
Based on a comparative analysis of sets of comments from digital media Nastojashhij Lentach, I will discuss how the beginning of the military activities in Ukraine has affected the character of online debates and self-censorship, what comments users have considered as being appropriate to post, which measures of protection they have employed.
Ekaterina Grishaeva is Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy at the Ural Federal University (Yekaterinburg, Russia). In 2021-2023 she works as a visiting researcher in Forschungsstelle Osteuropa (Bremen University, Germany). Her research interests include public visibility and digitalization of the Russian Orthodox Church, digital disconnection, and media perception.