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Bill Imposing Fines for Curse Words in Media Passes 2nd Reading

The State Duma passed in its second reading on Friday legislation that seeks to impose fines for the use of curse words in mass media.

The bill, introduced by United Russia deputies, calls for a fine of between 2,000 and 3,000 rubles ($100) for individuals, 5,000 to 20,000 rubles for civil servants and from 20,000 to 200,000 rubles for legal entities for "the preparation or distribution of mass media information containing curse words," Gazeta.ru reported.

In comments on the legislation, the Duma's Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building said, "In today's society, the problem of foul language in areas that a wide range of citizens are exposed to and that have a high degree of influence on public opinion and morality is drawing more and more attention to itself," hence the need to protect against "immoral information systems," Interfax reported. 

The bill was passed in its first reading in mid-January. It is unclear what words would be considered obscene under the law and whether a list of specific curse words would be created.

United Russia Deputy Dmitry Vyatkin said in January that experts and scholars would determine which words must be censored. 

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