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Vkontakte says it will reveal statistics about government requests for user data
Russia’s most popular social media platform, Vkontakte, has announced that it will publish a transparency report covering government requests for user data, Meduza reports, noting that the announcement comes as the company is fulfilling such requests more and more often. Vkontakte, or VK for short, outlined its plans to the BBC (Russian) Activists say Vkontakte "surrenders virtually all personal data, whenever requested by law enforcement," according to Meduza. On August 6th, Vkontakte parent compant condemned the growing state crackdown on social media users' content and 'likes,' despite their routine compliance in such cases. VK then also rolled out new user privacy options amid the increased focus from law enforcement on content hosted on the platform.

Meduza: "Vkontakte...says it will release statistics about government requests for user data, despite federal regulations enacted in January that bar companies from revealing information about 'the concrete facts and content' of cooperation with the Federal Security Service...It remains unclear what data the company can publish without violating the government’s new gag order, though it’s worth noting that federal officials have yet to codify penalties for disclosing such information...In recent years (and especially in recent weeks), police officers have opened criminal cases against Russian Internet users, typically charging individuals with hate speech, extremism, offending religious views, or propagating Nazism. The vast majority of these criminal cases are filed against users of Vkontakte, which surrenders virtually all personal data, whenever requested by law enforcement, according to human rights activists."

- Positive vibes only: The Russian internet needs more "positivity," according to President Putin (Meduza): "Amid growing concerns about absurd criminal prosecutions against Russian Internet users, Vladimir Putin visited an educational forum on Wednesday and told the team behind an online animation studio that they’re giving the Web something it gravely needs: 'positivity.' 'Social networks need 100 percent positive [content], which it often lacks,' the president said."
otf  russia  censorship  social  vk  vkontakte 
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