MOSCOW, August 1 (RAPSI) – The amendments to the law On Information, Information Technology and Information Protection plus other related laws, informally referred to as the law on bloggers, have become effective on August 1, RIA Novosti writes.

The law requires individuals whose blog attracts a daily readership of more than 3,000 to take on the full responsibilities of mass media outlets. President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law on May 6 this year.

Before the enforcement of the law, the telecommunications authority, Roskomnadzor, published a methodology for calculating the number of subscribers of personal websites and social networking pages. Personal bloggers will be rated by the number of unique visitors and session duration (full loading estimated at no less than 15 seconds).

The Russian Association for Electronic Communications (RAEC) and Roskomnadzor have established an expert commission to settle disputes over the number of visitors.

The most popular personal websites will have to be registered with the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), which will notify users of their obligation to comply with the provisions of the law on the media.

The law obliges the owners of the specified personal websites and social networking pages to confirm the reliability of information, to act in accordance with election campaign rules (election silence, a ban on publishing poll results in the last five days before voting day), not to publish private information about other people, and to indicate age limits for users.

Registered bloggers will also be obliged to provide their family name, first name and patronymic on their pages, as well as contact data for filing complaints.

Bloggers who fail to comply with these rules will face fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($14,107). Finally, bloggers will have to pay taxes on their advertising income, which is currently not controlled and hence not taxable.

The day after the bill was adopted, popular blog platform LiveJournal said it would no longer display the number of subscribers a blog had if the figure exceeded 2,500.