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Medvedev praises press for helping fight scourge of online ‘death groups’

January 14, 18:53 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Olga Bobrova and Galina Mursaliyeva, journalists from the Novaya Gazeta daily, were among the winners of the government’s media award ceremony for 2018

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© Sergei Konkov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has stated that it is important that journalists cover the problem of what is known as "death groups" spreading across the Internet. He made the statement at the government’s media award ceremony for 2018.

Olga Bobrova and Galina Mursaliyeva, journalists from the Novaya Gazeta daily, were among the winners. They were awarded a prize for a series of investigative reports covering child safety on the Internet.

"There is no immunity to crime, bigotry, extremism and all sorts of radicalism, and many Internet criminals take advantage of this skillfully and covertly. Unfortunately, as a result, tragedies, appalling ones, take place," Medvedev stressed at the award ceremony. He praised the publication that had reported on children who had fallen victim to the influence of online "death groups".

Medvedev emphasized that these reports "had shocked many parents". "They are valuable precisely because they had drawn attention, including the government’s attention, to the problem," the prime minister pointed out. He added that authorities are now blocking such websites and, although this does not completely solve the problem, "there is at least an opportunity to work towards achieving this goal."

Speaking of the Internet in general, Medvedev noted that "this is just an environment, where there is both good and bad, and vital things, as well as all kinds of nonsense there." In this regard, he highlighted the "Arzamas" educational project created by another 2018 award winner - Philip Dzyadko. "Such projects are really extremely important," the premier stressed.

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