Social media has come about to play a very significant role in the lives of people around the globe. During the Arab Spring, we saw that people planned protests via Facebook and Twitter. Similarly, in Russia, a number of protests have been organized through social media. Most of these protests were against Putin.
The most popular social networks in Russia are Facebook, Twitter, VK and Odnoklassniki. Russia hasn’t been too keen to censor these networks or the information flowing through them and so far, Russian users have been able to have their say online.
However, it now seems that rather than attempting to censor these networks and further inciting the protests, Russian government now has another strategy. It is planning to launch a social network of its own. Essentially, it would be strictly able to control the flow of data on such a social network.
But the problem is that not many would be attracted by the idea. A state-owned social network will be despised by the users. Moreover, when users won’t be able to say their hearts out on such a social network due to censorship, they will flock away.
Also, the persisting networks have a very strong presence and this may continue, despite Russian government’s efforts. For instance, VK commands a massive user base of 118 million whereas Odnoklassniki has 45 million users in all.
Source: The Guardian