A recent ruling in Russia has essentially outlawed internet memes – which is significant given the country’s president Vladimir Putin’s popularity as a subject of them.
The announcement from Russian media and telecom regulator Roskomnadzor isn’t actually creating a new law but rather clarifies an existing rule.
The statement said: “These ways of using [celebrities’ images] violate the laws governing personal data and harm the honour, dignity and business of public figures,” according to a translation of the ruling carried in The Washington Post.
The move means that parody accounts and websites are now also illegal.
According to Russian media the ruling was made following a case taken by Russian singer Valeri Syutkin – who sued a website that carried a meme pairing his image with some rather unflattering lyrics from a rival artist's song.
So, in light of this new ruling, we thought it was a perfect moment to enjoy some of the best Vladimir Putin memes…
Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note – because sometimes the lighter side of STEM should be taken seriously, too.
Vladimir Putin with puppy image, via Shutterstock