Internet in Russia: A Study of the Runet and Its Impact on Social Life
The title of the book refers to the sociological survey, conducted by the "Public opinion" Fund in 2000. It is focused on the representation of Internet as a complex phenomenon in modern Russia. First, the Internet is considered as part of the media system that not only rapidly developing, but also significantly transforming the system as a whole. Second, it contains the analysis of main online markets in Russia. Thirdly, the Internet is analyzed in political, social and cultural contexts.
This chapter compares the Russian national legislation on online freedom of expression with the Council of Europe’s (CoE) legal standards on this issue to investigate the extent to which the Russian legislation has been consistent with the CoE vision. The chapter first examines the CoE perspective, including the European Court of Human Rights case law and non-binding documents of the other main CoE institutions. It then analyses the Russian national legislation and the perspectives of the highest Russian courts. The chapter compares the CoE and Russian legal visions of key principles in the governance of online freedom of expression, the new notion of media, editorial responsibility for users’ comments, the right to anonymity, and the protection of journalists from surveillance. The chapter concludes that the Russian legislation on online freedom of expression needs a considerable revision to comply with the CoE standards and suggests that Internet companies and international organisations should drive this process.
An innovative development based on the use of modern media and communication technologies requires a certain level of competence in how to use such technologies. These competencies are united by the concept of “information literacy”, proposed by Paul Gilster in 1997. The tradition of studying digital literacy in Russia is the subject of the following chapter. The different approaches to understanding digital literacy are as follows: ICT, psychological and pedagogical, media and information and industrial approaches.
Special attention is paid to the four-component digital literacy model, proposed in the framework of the project by ROCIT and the Higher School of Economics. This model is based on two substantial oppositions: firstly, the opposition “technical-technological/socio-humanitarian” and, secondly, the opposition “opportunities/threats”. It was used to construct the Index of Digital Literacy in the Russian Regions, measured since 2015.
The results of a series of media literacy measuring surveys by the ZIRCON Group from 2009–2016 are also presented.
email@example.comPrefaceWhat is Runet?There are at least three possible answers to this question. First, it is a segment ofthe Internet with content in Russian language. Second, it is a segment of the Internetassociated with the domain zone .RU. Third, it is the national—Russian—segmentof the Internet. The latter definition is the closest one to the idea of this book.However, the use of this elusive term will be presented with different layers ofmeaning in the following pages. Herein also lies the general concept of the book.Our contributors do not always agree with each other and sometimes expressnon-coinciding opinions. What they all certainly agree on, however, is that the Runetdeserves to be written about.In recent years, we hear more and more often that the so-called new media are infact not so new. Communication technologies, which were breathtaking a quarter ofa century ago, have become routines, even sometimes banal, and are neverthelessstill able to bring surprises. Today, for many people in the world the Internet is partof everyday life. And Russia is no exception.
Today, the internet has become a very fragmented research object that can be understood differently depending on contexts, research goals and methods. However, the internet [in this text, we write “internet” with a lower case “i”, following the process of decapitalisation of this term. The logic behind this process is that we understand internet as “computer network connecting a number of smaller networks” rather than as “the global network that evolved out of ARPANET, the early Pentagon network” (Herring S. Should you be capitalizing the word “internet”? Wired, 2015)] of a particular country is often treated by researchers as an umbrella term combining heterogeneous phenomena and practices. In this chapter we propose an alternative way of analysing the internet in Russia’s regions. Contrary to the concept of RuNet as common space, we explore diversity of what the internet is in different localities in Russia. The cases of five cities aim to illustrate the variety of histories and usage patterns of the internet in particular locations, such as in cities in Russia’s regions. Qualitative data consisting of interviews, observations, digital ethnography and archival documents have paved an additional (to more conventional quantitative data) way to explore the internet as a complex phenomenon rooted in previous development, local cultural and societal norms and political and economic situations. In particular, we stress the significance of the early internet, the diversity of basic and alternative platforms, the access and infrastructure divide as objects that are important to understand the development of the internet in a particular location.