Здравствуйте Российские друзья?

That’s “Hello Russian friends?”

As some of you will doubtless know already, LiveJournal has been sold to a Russian-based company called SUP. Some concern has been expressed over freedom of speech for the fairly large number of Russian LJ users. An LJ statement about this is at: http://news.livejournal.com/104520.html

Does this mean anything for us? If there is clear evidence that freedom of speech really is affected, I’ll probably move elsewhere, or even merge with our friendly rivals over at fifteensquared, given that the WordPress service they use has a few features that would be handy for me and other bloggers. But no action will be taken hastily or without getting views from other bloggers and our readers, and the two years of coverage of past puzzles between this and my original single-handed version will not be thrown away carelessly.

8 comments on “Здравствуйте Российские друзья?”

  1. Oh well. I suppose this might spur us logophiles to extend our vocabulary still further. I must admit, my knowledge of Russian is pitiful. Vodka, Borscht, Kalashnikov, firing squad, Chelsea. That’s about it really.
    What do you think, comrades?
    1. I must confess to not being a big Live Journal user other than for this blog.
      I also am hugely suspicious of the current Kremlin regime. However, I’m intrigued by intimations of free speech curtailment. Where have they come from?
      I know we had the Google in China affair but I wasn’t aware of any issue with blogs, Russia and censorship. Generally speaking the “blogosphere” is a place where in particular Russians express themselves freely on all sorts of topics.
      Unless someone can tell me different I can’t believe this is going to be an issue. We can test it out anyway: if my signature image mysteriously disappears then I will take it that this blog has failed the “SUP” test!
      (By the way it’s “rossijskie” (don’t know how to do the cyrillic quickly “druz’ya” rather than “rossijskoj”
      🙂 )
      1. My method for quick Cyrillic: translate using the service on Google Language Tools, then copy and paste. Shame it can’t do this phrase though (now corrected).

        The most sensible independent comment I could find about the sale was here. I’m hoping that it will make no difference.

        1. I’ve now read that link. It’s worth bearing in mind that all sorts of non-Kremlin-speak opinions are broadcast and printed in Russia – there’s the non-Government Ren TV, Novaya Gazeta (which recently won in international award) etc. The problems tend lie in the fact that mainstream media are controlled by the Kremlin and secondly most people in Russia aren’t interested in politics or anything liable to rock their boat. As long as the dissenting voices are in the minority and don’t do anything irritating like try to shout too loudly or get themselves elected, then they’re tolerated (largely I suspect bcause it would be too much hassle to do anything about them).
          If shady figures from the FSB are poised to note down people’s IP addresses I daresay they may well be doing this regardless of who owns LJ.
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    I seem to be getting interference.

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