Russia To Control Online News Aggregators

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The Russian government has drafted a bill that would mean that online news aggregators would have to verify that any republished articles are completely factually correct. Online news aggregators are those which gather news articles published on other websites and list them all in one place. If a news aggregator was found to have republished an article that contained any factual errors, they would be fined between 400,000 and 5 million Rubles, equivalent to around 5,300 to 66,800 US dollars. The draft law also says that news aggregators will not be allowed to have over 20% foreign ownership. One of the lawmakers behind the bill explained why the Russian government thought this was necessary, saying: “Ideological manipulations do exist and we must control them and bring any foreign influence to a minimum.” Russia’s largest search engine Yandex commented on the proposed law, saying that it would have to completely shut down its news aggregation service Yandex News because it pulled in stories automatically, and it does not have the resources to check every single news article that it aggregates. 

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