Mountain-Hiker (mountain_hiker) wrote in ontd_political,

Dear LJ: Prepare yourselves

LiveJournal: Russia's unlikely internet giant

As Russia prepares to elect a new president this weekend, voters are more fired up than they have been for a decade. It's partly due to an internet revolution that has challenged the state's power to control public opinion - and to the blogging platform LiveJournal.

A month before the election, a liberal opposition group carried out a brazen stunt, hanging a massive anti-Putin banner across the river from the Kremlin. It showed the prime minister's face crossed out, and the words "Putin, leave".

The banner was hastily removed, but photos of the action reached millions of Russians via the blog of Ilya Yashin, the group's leader and one of a small army of opposition activists currently spreading their word through the Russian blogosphere.

In a country with tightly controlled TV and few independent newspapers and radio stations, the internet is a vital space for alternative opinion. Almost all of it appears on the blogging platform LiveJournal, known in Russian as Zhivoy Zhurnal, or simply ZheZhe.

Set up by US developer Brad Fitzpatrick in 1998, as a way to communicate online with his friends, LiveJournal - complete with its mascot "Frank the goat" - may seem at first sight a strange medium for Russia's new-found political vibrancy.
Rest of article in link.
Tags: free speech, livejournal, politics, russia, wtf

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