How is the Law on the gambling content arrest meant to operate in Russia?

Publication date: 17 Mar 2021

New rules regulating the social networks content have come into force. Since February 1, 2021, providers have been obliged to block the offenders without notifying them. The offenders are those who ignore the new restrictions imposed. These restrictions concern various violation activities, for instance, calls on the public to gamble or take part in a lottery. These changes are also likely to impact on the profile farming in social networks for further traffic arbitration.

What is a content block (arrest) and how does it function?

Being an owner of a social network with the audience as large as 500 thousand users a day (or more), one must supervise all the data on the platform and deliver the results of the monitoring procedures to Roskomnadzor. But the order of the whole monitoring procedure and its effects is still in question. What kind of problems might occur? Tens of thousands of users generate traffic on business and personal purposes. Manual moderation of such a massive load of information will be something beyond. The burden on the regulator will rise. Especially for the reason that not only facts but also the violations suspected will be recorded and delivered. Therefore, the vast majority of users will probably struggle against the content ban. Roskomnadzor will be in charge of dealing with this too. Being unconfident about the lawful structure of the content, an owner should address Roskomnadzor for further explanations. Also, the regulator is empowered to reject the block of the content initiated by social networks providing that it is legally credible. All procedures are supposed to be arranged in a short term, which, however, is not specified by the Law. But, in addition to moderation, which is actually run by the SN artificial intelligence, providers will recruit content verification employees to do the job that cannot yet be done by a computer. Privacy settings won’t be an obstacle for the AI or human moderation. Experts comment that the regulator can get through and interfere in group activities, including closed ones, can request for monitoring competencies, or question community members. Moreover, for the providers being in charge of monitoring in the present, another trouble is to organize documentation flow. There are no sample forms and legible requirements for the reporting on the procedures and outcomes. This is a result of the early establishment: some decisions are still being made. Despite that, providers are subjected to penalty in case new rules are ignored – a 3 or 4 million rubles fine.

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