Russia Has Banned Memes That "Disrespect" Pretty Much Anything Russian
Russia has a long and proud history of being the butt of memes. But for its citizens, the days of freely creating, sharing, and enjoying images of shirtless Putin riding various animals are over, as the government can no longer tell the difference between dank memes and domestic terrorism.
In early 2019, the government passed a controversial law that makes it illegal for citizens to go online and disrespect Russian religion, the Russian government, or any Russian patriot who has bribed a judge or higher. And that includes posting memes. The government, like your oldfangled grandpa, believes them to be an inherently disrespectful way of communication. First-time meme criminals risk a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($1,500). Post another image of the agriculture minister with the caption "Hello, fellow kids" and you risk jail time of 15 days.
But this law only codifies a long-running war by the government. In 2018, 23-year-old Maria Motuznaya was arrested, registered as an extremist, and faced six years of jail time for posting memes about Russian nuns. Likewise, Daniil Markin has been under government surveillance since 2017. His crime: depicting Jon Snow as Jesus. This landed him on an extremist and terrorist watch list.
Via BBC"Forgive me, Father, for I knoweth nothing."