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Caught In The Net

Couldn’t help but smirk a little when reading today about Vladimir Putin’s web-based woes. He famously rebuffed the Internet as 50% pornography.  Now he may have to acknowledge that alongside the spam merchants and porn sites, there reside the swelling ranks of his political detractors.  Apparently the launch of his online election manifesto prompted a host of less-than-agreeable commentsBrian Whitmore reports on the actions of a regime which is well behind the digital tide:

The negative comments were quickly removed from the site and were replaced by comments praising Putin and calling on him to impose censorship and to take measures to halt the financing of NGOs from abroad.

But in the latest incident of the Kremlin getting punked by Russia’s agile blogging community, they were preserved on LiveJournal with helpful before-and-after screen grabs. 

As a result, the controversy over the comments overshadowed the launch of Putin’s electoral platform everywhere except the state-run media.

Today’s Internet fail came just a day after Putin tried to use one of his tried-and-true tactics of dressing down a subordinate on television — but was later harshly rebuked in cyberspace.
The negative comments were quickly removed from the site and were replaced by comments praising Putin and calling on him to impose censorship and to take measures to halt the financing of NGOs from abroad.

But in the latest incident of the Kremlin getting punked by Russia’s agile blogging community, they were preserved on LiveJournal with helpful before-and-after screen grabs.

As a result, the controversy over the comments overshadowed the launch of Putin’s electoral platform everywhere except the state-run media.

Today’s Internet fail came just a day after Putin tried to use one of his tried-and-true tactics of dressing down a subordinate on television — but was later harshly rebuked in cyberspace.

During a televised videoconference with regional governors on Tuesday, Putin claimed that hot water fees had risen by 40 percent in the Kirov Oblast — which is led by Nikita Belykh, the only opposition figure holding a high government post in Russia. “Why on earth did hot water prices jump 40 percent?” Putin asked.

When he learned that Belykh was on vacation, he ordered Deputy Governor Aleksei Kuznetsov to “send him a little signal.”

In the end, however, it was Putin who got a signal — sent Wednesday via Belykh’s blog on LiveJournal.