Kremlin readies its own social network

In an effort to control the Russian Internet, the Kremlin is launching its own network for government complaints.

The Kremlin thinks it has come up with a way to better monitor people who use social networks to complain about the Russian government—create its own social network.

Sometime over the next week and a half, the Kremlin will launch a Facebook-like social network where Russian nationals can air their grievances. The site will be created using an existing Russian social network, russiawithoutidiots.rf.

The unnamed network is part of an effort by President Vladamir Putin and his predecessor Dmitry Medvedev to “build the role of e-government in Russia,” reported the Guardian.

However, it’ll be tough to control the Russian Internet if nobody uses the service. News of the social network was met with scoffs and derision on Twitter from businessmen and journalists.

“Who would join this,” tweeted Neal Mann, social media editor for the Wall Street Journal.

“Is this a joke (sadly not),” tweeted Rory Stirling, a venture capitalist.

Social media has proven to be a tough nut for the Russian government to crack over the last year. In December more than 30,000 people used Twitter and Facebook to organize mass protests around the country following the election of Vladimir Putin. Protesters believed the election were rigged in Putin’s favor and were given credence by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who suggested “that the election was neither free nor fair,” reported MSNBC.

With the new network, perhaps Putin hopes to squelch the next protest before it happens.

Illustration by DonkeyHotey

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