Russian social media network expresses concern over increasing number of internet users
The group, which owns Russia's most popular social network VK as well as the widely used Odnoklassniki, called for the country's internet laws to be changed.
The Russian company that owns the country's most popular social media network today expressed concern at the increasing number of internet users facing prosecution for liking and sharing content online.
"We see that in many regions of our country it is becoming popular to start criminal proceedings against (internet) users for likes and shares on social media," Mail.ru, which is owned by billionaire Alisher Usmanov, said in a statement.
"Too often the actions of law enforcement agencies clearly do not correspond to the potential threat and their reaction to posts or memes are groundlessly harsh," Mail.ru said.
"We are convinced that the legislation and the way the law is enforced in practice should be changed," it added.
The group also called for an "amnesty" for "those who were unjustly convicted and serving time on such charges." The statement comes as a 23-year-old woman went on trial in Siberia over social media memes that prosecutors claim incited hatred and insulted religious believers.
Maria Motuznaya went on trial in Barnaul, the main city in the Siberian Altai region, on Monday for satirical memes she posted on VK.
Authorities stepped up the heat on popular websites after Vladimir Putin started his fourth Kremlin term in 2012, ostensibly to fight terrorism but analysts say the real motive was to muzzle Kremlin critics.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)