Yes, Russia Just Made A Ton of Internet Memes Illegal

5251 People Viewed - about 32 months ago World

Russia has struck a bold blow against freedom and democracy in its most threatening form: The Internet meme.

The Russian government's media bureau Roskomnadzor announced this week that Internet memes depicting celebrities are illegal if they don't represent the celebrity's personality.

Sad Keanu? Nope.

Sad Putin? Absolutely not.

“These ways of using [celebrities’ images] violate the laws governing personal data and harm the honor, dignity and business of public figures,” reads the policy announcement from Roskomnadzor.

Apparently, the recent flap over meme censorship was sparked by a Russian singer Valeri Syutkin's lawsuit over a series of image macros that paired his face with another artist's lyrics.

On Tuesday, a Moscow judge ruled for Syutkin, prompting the Roskomnadzor to publish an update to its “personal data laws.”

To be clear, the announcement isn't a new law, but a clarification of an existing policy of no fun for anyone, ever, under any circumstances not mandated by the state, especially if you're gay.

Thankfully, this has no bearing on unintentionally hilarious photos of Russian President Vladimir Putin fishing, hunting, and riding horses while shirtless. Sadly, it could have a chilling effect on brilliant permutations thereof.

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