The Russian government has banned memes that “do not represent the personality" of the celebrities they mock. Which of course has nothing to do with Vladimir Putin.
The government watchdog Roskomnadzor, said in a post on Russian social media site VKontake: “These ways of using celebrities images violate the laws governing personal data and harm the honour, dignity and business of public figures.”
The recent clarification on meme law was ordered by a Moscow judge who presided over a case involving Russian singer Valeri Syutkin.
Syutkin, a singer of romantic ballads apparently targeted because of his gentle persona, had his image posted in a meme with the acronym BBPE, standing for “Beio Babu Po Ebalu,” roughly translating as “Smack the b**ch in face.”
According to the newspaper Izvestia, Syutkin’s mother persuaded him to take the case to court.
A person who believes that there image is being used inappropriately is now able to report the offenders to Roskomnadzor or sue them.
The Russian Post reports that web sites will be given the option of blocking the offending content in Russia or seeing their whole site blocked across the country.
The Post adds that it is most likely that celebrities will have to report the memes themselves and this might lead many to hope that a certain Mr. Putin finds himself a little too busy to commit to sanitising the internet of photos of himself.
The Russian President has spawned some of the most glorious memes of all time, so just in case, we don’t find ourselves with any more, here’s a small selection of a few of the classics.