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Murmansk Sues Vkontakte Over Porn on Site

Vkontakte is Russia's most popular social network, with more than 100 million users.

Murmansk prosecutors have sued Vkontakte, the country's largest social network, over pornographic materials distributed by its users.

Prosecutors for the city's Oktyabrsky district said in their lawsuit that Vkontakte contains a large amount of pornographic materials that can be easily accessed by minors and urged it to monitor uploaded content and remove any that violated the law.

"Under current legislation, the Vkontakte social network owns the website and therefore is obliged to take measures to limit access to pornography," prosecutors said in a statement. They did not cite which law obliged the website to take such action.

Prosecutors said the illegal materials had a negative effect on the moral and psychological development of minors.

Last week, the Federation Council passed a bill that allows the government to disable access to content that it believes shows child pornography, solicits children to appear in pornographic materials, encourages drug use, promotes suicide or distributes content that is illegal under Russian law.

The legislation is expected to come into effect not earlier than November.

Pavel Durov, founder and owner of Vkontakte, has repeatedly maintained that the site removes all illegal materials as soon as they are detected.

The social network did not immediately comment on the lawsuit brought by Murmansk prosecutors.

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