WTF? Putin Outlaws Swearing in Russian Arts

WTF? Putin Outlaws Swearing in Russian Arts

8th July 2014 // By Tara Watson // Politics

In an act of legislation many have criticised as a limit on free speech, starting 1 July 2014 swearing in films, plays and books is to be banned under Russian law.  

In a policy in line with a push for Russia to become more conservative, under the so-called profanity law, the words khuy (cock), pizda (cunt), yebat (to fuck) and blyad (whore) will be banned from use in the arts. Penalties for violators of the law will range from $70 and $1,400 depending on whether the identity is an individual, an official or an organisation.

To enforce the law online, the Russian government has spent $775,000 on a 'swear bot', a system to scan the 5,000 websites that are otherwise monitored manually. Media organisations in Russia have already questioned how the law will be enforced, with classic Russian writers including novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky and poet Alexander Pushkin having several of the prohibited words in their famed works. 

Spokesperson for Russia’s Ministry of Culture Irina Kaznacheeva told Moscow Times the removal of prohibited words will not be aggressively enforced. “It will be up to the artistic director to decide what to do with swearing, whether to break the new law or not, we will not interfere in the process.” 

However, with fines to be given out if the law is broken, it will no doubt alter and reduce the use of so-called swear words in Russia. This move by Putin further impedes on free speech, following the 2013 law that prohibited swear words being used in the media. Many critics have pointed to both swear word ban laws, as undemocratic and an act to cleanse the Russian language. 

Photo sourced here.