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Lawmaker Seeks to Ban Some Jokes on Internet

LivejournalPolice at the Museum of Authority in St. Petersburg, where they removed four controversial paintings by the artist Konstantin Altunin

Vitaly Milonov, the United Russia lawmaker who authored St. Petersburg's controversial gay propaganda law, is preparing a bill banning certain kinds of jokes on the Internet, the New Region news agency reported Tuesday.

The new bill will make the publication of fake information in the form of a joke online equal to libel and introduce penalties for that.

"Fake information can lead to serious economic and political consequences," Milonov said. "Administrators of social network groups spread fake [information], and call it a joke."

The lawmaker plans to present the first draft of the bill in the St. Petersburg's legislative assembly on Sept. 10, after the concept of what is fake is redefined, Digit.ru reported.

Earlier this year, Milonov was a victim of a fake, when social network users attributed to him the plan to ban foreign music on the Vkontakte social network.

This week, Milonov attracted media attention again, after the owner of the Museum of Authority in St. Petersburg said the lawmaker had asked police to remove some paintings from the museum, RIA Novosti reported. The police said they could be against the law.

But Milonov denied that police were acting on his request, RIA Novosti reported.

Police removed four paintings from the museum — "Rainbow Milonov," a portrait of Milonov combined with the LGBT movement's rainbow symbol, "Transvestite", depicting President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in women's underwear, "the Erotic Dreams of [socially conservative lawmaker] Mizulina," and a picture featuring Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill covered in tattoos.

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