A Russian youth-oriented television show was pulled over by the country’s state television after they recorded a spoof item about the president’s divorce.
Vladimir Putin recently parted ways with his (former) wife Lyudmila who said the couple had a ‘peaceful’ separation. They broke the news on television on Thursday in an interview.
The cancelled show called ‘The Social Network’ had planned to do a segment on Putin putting up his profile on a Russian dating website. The creators of the show had come up with a video item about photos of Vladimir Putin for mamba.ru (a Russian dating site). The state television took down, not only the content, but also the entire program off air.
One of the founders of the show had planned to quit the show over the abrupt cancellation by the channel Obshestvennoye Televideniye (or Public Television).
According to RIA Novosti, Russian news agency, head of the OTR, Anatoly Lysenko, has dismissed the claims saying that the show was not broadcast due to technical problems. He said, “It’s a lie, nothing was shut down.”
Russian television is known for its notorious censorship when it comes to covering Putin related news. Shortly after he became President in 2000, a satirical puppet show was pulled off air after they portrayed Vladimir Putin as an ugly dwarf. It must be one boulder of a task for the news channels to restrain themselves from writing about Putin and ‘not’ to be sarcastic because the President of Russia is infamous for a number of things.
Apparently Russian social media is also a victim of government censorship. Activists in the country have long condemned the creation of the internet blacklist and consider it as a barrier on freedom of speech and expression and a government tool for practicing censorship. This became quite obvious after two popular sites, 4chan- a discussion platform and Lurkmore which was a Wikipedia style site- were banned and added to the blacklist.
The Social Network cancellation just seems to be another episode of government control over the media in Russia. And it’s hypocritical if one comes to think of it. A President who is not shy to give a thumbs-up to a topless protester ought to have the guts to watch a silly divorce-spoof video. Don’t you think?