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Russia's National Guard Creates New Task Force to Monitor Social Media

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Russia's National Guard has created a dedicated cyber-division to monitor social network sites.

The government task force, headed by former Interior Ministry official headed by Larisa Goryachko, will comb the internet for “extremist content” posted online, the Rosbalt news site reported Thursday.

Convictions related to "extremist content" posted online have skyrocketed in recent years as Russia has brought in strict new anti-terror laws.

Moscow police reported in July 2016 that it had recorded a 86 percent rise in online extremism in the capital in the first half of the year compared to 2015.

Anatoly Yakunin, the head of Moscow's Interior Ministry, told journalists in March 2016 that combating extremism would be the Moscow police’s "highest priority."

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