Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed to defend the free speech rights of all citizens online during a conference earlier this week.
In stark contract to western leaders’ attempts to stifle free speech online, Putin told the Russian Internet Governance Forum, “I am confident that we should continue to follow the principle of the freedom of the Internet, creating conditions for a wide exchange of information and the implementation of business initiatives and startups.”
Infowars.com reports: The Russian leader said that it was important to balance free speech online with concerns about tackling cyber-crime and illegal content.
Putin’s position is at odds with many western leaders, who have elevated concerns about “fake news” and people’s feelings being hurt over free speech.
In addition to the widespread banning and deplatforming of numerous dissident speakers over the course of the last year, Internet regulation by the state is also intensifying in the west.
According to reports, the UK is about to impose what some are calling “the toughest Internet laws in the world” in the name of stopping cyber-bullying and the spread of “disinformation”.
The European Union also recently passed Article 13, which some fear could lead to the banning of memes.
In the not too distant future, the Russian Internet, where for example you can criticize transgenderism without the risk of being arrested (unlike in the UK), might be more free than anywhere in western Europe.
I can think of nothing more humiliating than that.