Russia continues to allow Western social media companies to operate, despite the obvious fact that these companies are being used to launch a revolution against the state in the country.
Finally, someone is complaining about this.
A bizarre and dramatic piece of performance art was staged in Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg, last week, featuring men dressed as tech tycoons chasing and gagging three young women with the logos of major online platforms.
The protest, staged by a notorious flash mob group, came to light when the video was discovered by local news outlets on Tuesday. The clip features three figures dressed respectively as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, which owns YouTube. The group violently attacks three women, whose mouths have been grotesquely fitted with ball-gags featuring the symbols of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
One of the activists who staged the performance, Maria Rein, said the rationale behind the protests was to highlight the fact that “violence against freedom of speech occurs publicly all the time, without any hesitation, in front of everyone.” Rein has previously starred in a series of provocative and controversial clips aimed at starting conversations around social issues.
On Sunday, Russia’s state media regulator, Roskomnadzor, said that YouTube was a repeat offender when it came to censorship of content from the country. According to officials, the video streaming platform, “more often than other foreign services, restricts access to materials from Russian media. In total, about 30 cases of censorship of Russian publications and information resources have been identified.”
Here’s the video.
It’s censored on my end.
“Rein” is clearly not a Russian name. I don’t know anything about that woman. But at least someone is saying something. I like framing it in terms of the “violence” consent narrative.
Russia needs to ban these social media companies in order to protect free speech in Russia. What these companies do is come in, for free, and offer a “public square.” Then when everyone is using the services, they go ahead and start banning everyone they don’t like in your country, while promoting their own agenda.
It might seem counterintuitive to say “ban them to protect freedom of speech,” but obviously it isn’t.
Imagine if it was 1995 and American companies went into Russia and bought up every single newspaper and TV station, then started running CIA propaganda 24/7, while refusing to allow any other opinions to be shared.
This is ridiculous and absurd.
I am honestly shocked Russia will not make a move here.