Russian media outlets fined for sharing viral rap battle

23 August 2017

Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor announced on Monday that it would fine six news outlets for sharing a video of the profane “rap battle of the year” between Russian rappers Oxxxymiron and Slava KPSS, better known as Gnoyny, which gathered over 10 million views in just 24 hours.

Among the six outlets to face 50,000 ruble ($850) fines for violating laws on broadcasting profane language are the RIA Novosti news agency and independent television station TV Rain. A further 26 media outlets will receive warning letters for sharing a link to the viral video.

In 2014, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law banning the use of obscene language in the public sphere, which includes broadcast media, along with newspapers, theatre productions and concerts.

While some have praised rap battles as one of the last remaining bastions of free expression in Russia, with opposition leader Alexei Navalny dubbing the recent performance “postmodern poetry”, Russian MP Gennady Onishchenko likened the battle to a street brawl.

Source: The Moscow Times