Between Institutional Dungeons and the Dragons of Public Opinion: Russian Internet Regulation

//Gregory Asmolov, a PhD researcher at the LSE, argues that new data from Russia suggest revisiting policies for mitigation of radical Internet regulation, based on his recent paper that explores why Russian public opinion is generally in favour of regulation. This article was originally published on the London School of Economics Media Policy Project blog and can be viewed here

The Russian Internet, also known as Runet, has played an important political role since the turn of the century. According to mapping of the Russian blogosphere that was conducted by the Berkman Center in 2010, while traditional media, particularly TV, have been controlled by the government, Runet allowed an alternative political agenda to emerge and much more criticism of Russian authorities. The political importance of Runet may have reached its peak around the time of the parliamentary and presidential elections in winter 2011-2012, when online technologies were actively used by citizens in order to expose fraud and organize protests.

Since then, however…

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An Interview on Russian Internet Control with Olga Kamenchuk

//In this interview, Director on International and Public Affairs, VCIOM (Russian Public Opinion Research Center) and former Annenberg Public Policy Center visiting scholar Olga Kamenchuk discusses the results of a survey on Russia attitudes toward the internet.

What’s the most exciting thing about working in the field of public opinion?

As a historian and a political scientist I admire the field of public opinion for its ability to understand the logic of the country’s development that it gives a researcher. “A nation is worth its leaders” – goes an old saying. What is there in the country’s population at a certain point in its history that it has the leader it has? Why did Germans elect Adolf Hitler in 1930s? What helped Americans overcome the Great Depression? What can make people protest against their governments? Why would they support their leader regardless of what the rest of the world thinks about him?

Opinion research helps to draw the portrait of the nation and to build a forecast for its future development.

 

What can survey results tell us about the interplay between media consumption and freedom of expression?

Mass media (as well as the Orthodox Church and the army) is the most…

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