Parents demand 'content clean-up' in leading Russian social network
YEKATERINBURG, June 7 (RAPSI) - The Urals Parents' Committee public foundation has appealed to Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov and law enforcement agencies to suspend the VKontakte social network in order to cleanse it of content that is harmful to children, the foundation's Chairman Yevgeny Zhabreyev told RIA Novosti.
"We have written to the Children's Rights Commissioner and the law enforcement authorities to suspend (VKontakte) for at least three months to give it a chance to put things in order. If they refuse to do so, it should be shut down," he said.
Zhabreyev added that parents had earlier appealed to the network's management and to Astakhov to delete pornographic and pro-suicide groups, but to no avail.
He believes that such dangerous groups can be deleted by way of content moderation and monitoring of violators. However, the network's management is not doing this on the required scale.
The chairman of the parents' committee said St. Petersburg experts have concluded that VKontakte is the most socially harmful network for children in terms of prohibited content.
VKontakte is the Russian version of Facebook and is one of the country's most visited sites. Established in 2006, VKontakte has around 200 million registered users and is more popular than Facebook in Russia. It hosts an audience of over 40 million users daily.
The law On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development, which came into force in September 2012, stipulates that an automated register of domain names be kept for identifying websites which contain prohibited information, in particular child pornography, ways of committing suicide and drug making instructions.