Forget Facebook, Bring Back Samizdat

Forget Facebook, Bring Back Samizdat

Political debate in Russia has found a home on Western-owned and run platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But these sites function at Mr. Putin’s pleasure and the new law also mandates that they maintain electronic records on Russian soil of everything posted over the previous six months, presumably so the government can peruse them. The Russian Internet may well be headed the way of China’s. But the history of Russian dissidence is long, and if the Internet ceases to be an open and uncensored space, there is another medium that activists can and should look back to for inspiration and perhaps a more effective alternative: samizdat.

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