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State Agencies Refine Guidelines to Blacklist Websites

The criteria determining how websites will be blacklisted have been agreed upon by state agencies. Dmity Abramov

State agencies have agreed on a set of criteria according to which websites will be screened for content deemed harmful to minors.

The criteria are meant to specify the terms according to which websites can be blacklisted for containing content related to drug use, pornography and suicide, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Thursday.

Since November 2012, authorities have been able to block websites that are considered to promote harmful behavior by adding a website's numerical IP address to a blacklist.

Critics of the measure argued that whether a website contained harmful information or not was too often open for interpretation and called for more specific guidelines.

The guidelines now specifically prohibit the online distribution of images depicting the sex organs of underage children engaged in behavior that could be deemed sexual, information about the production and distribution of child pornography as well as any content aimed at arousing sexual feelings in reference to minors or advocating such behavior.

Websites containing information on how to produce or obtain drugs, or any content that is seen to encourage or glorify drug use or facilitate suicide will also be blacklisted.

According to a study by independent online watchdog Rublacklist.net, 83,000 websites were affected by the filtering measures over the past year.

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