Russia Invokes ‘Fake News’ Law ‘to Censor Reports About Coronavirus Pandemic’

DESPARDES — Russian media outlets faced penalties Friday after federal regulators invoked the nation’s newly enacted law against “fake news” to “censor reports about the coronavirus pandemic”, reports Washington Times.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian government’s communications watchdog, said it asked a number of media outlets to remove “inaccurate, socially significant information” about the outbreak.

Both the Echo of Moscow radio station and the Govorit Magadan news website were asked to remove content about the novel coronavirus that had been “disseminated under the guise of reliable information, creating a threat of massive disruption of public order and (or) public safety,” Roskomnadzor said in a statement.

As of March 23, 3:13 AM, Russia had total confirmed cases of 367 with 16 recoveries and zero deaths, according to CSSE.

Earlier this weekend, photoshopped images (such as one below) showing a lion on a street went viral on twitter suggesting Putin put out lions on Russian streets to keep everybody home.

Another tweet corrected the fake news: “RUSSIA: Vladimir Putin has Dropped 800 tigers and Lions all over the Country to push people to stay Home”

This is likely to be a fake, because the caption is another story from 2016 (image below), the tweet said.

YouTube, Instagram and VKontakte, a Russian social networking service, were also asked by regulators to remove content similarly deemed bogus by authorities, Roskomnadzor said.