Russian lawmakers have approved a law under which officials will now be able to fine or block online media outlets for publishing news they deem fake. Russia’s lower house of parliament, which is overwhelmingly dominated by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party yesterday voted in favour of the bill.
The law would allow prosecutors to decide what amounts to “fake news” and gives a media watchdog the power to demand an outlet the information. Websites failing to comply would be blocked and fines could reach over 22,700 US Dollar, in case infraction leads to grave consequences like death or rioting. However, rights groups reacted by calling the move virtual censorship.