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Russian University to Train ‘Social Media Police’ for Fighting Online Extremism

Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

Russia’s leading management university has launched an undergraduate program to train experts who can monitor and detect “extremism” online, the pro-Kremlin daily Izvestia reported Wednesday.

Backed by Russia’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee, the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA) program aims to train future media managers as well as spokespersons for government ministries and state-owned companies, the publication writes.

“‘Media security officers’ will be tasked with combating the propaganda of terrorism, criminal culture, teenage suicide and insulting religious feelings,” head of the program Lidiya Malygina told Izvestia.

Graduates will receive a bachelor’s degree in “Media Support of State Interests and National Security,” as well as one of three specializations that focus on cyberbullying or stalking, piracy and extremism.

Izvestia did not specify whether graduates would earn a police rank after completing the program.

According to the outlet, demand is expected to be high for the program since Russian authorities have been detecting and blocking a growing number of “illegal” and “destructive” materials online. 

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