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Russian Media Watchdog Blacklists Three-year-old Web Article as 'Promoting Shoplifting'

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Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor has blacklisted an online Vice Magazine article from November 2012 on grounds that it “promotes shoplifting.”

Roskomnadzor announced the move on their page on Russian social media site VKontakte, citing a court decision from the Siberian city of Tobolsk in December 2015. The court ruled that the article contained information that encouraged readers to engage in theft.

The article is now listed in the Roskomnadzor’s registry of websites and pages which are illegal to distribute in Russia. In the social media post, the organization urged any witnesses to such illegal distribution to contact law enforcement authorities.

The article in question, titled “Steal and Run Away,” included interviews with people who engaged in shoplifting and petty theft.

Vice is a print and online magazine which makes up part of the larger Vice Media company based in New York City. The outlet also operates in Russia, and produces a Russian language site. During its 2014 coverage of the crisis in Ukraine, one of their journalists, former Moscow Times reporter Simon Ostrovsky, was held hostage for several days by pro-Russian insurgents.

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