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Russian watchdog blocks about 14,000 groups promoting suicide on social networks last year

Social networking sites are monitored for suicide-related content in a non-stop effort

MOSCOW, February 7. /TASS/. Last year, Russian telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked about 14,000 so-called ‘groups of death,’ promoting suicide via social networking sites, the watchdog’s press service told TASS.

"In 2017, Roskomnadzor blocked about 14,000 groups and pages on social networks related to ‘groups of death.’ Roskomnadzor dectected no increase in groups offering suicide-related content on social networking sites, because such groups are blocked immediately and therefore have no time to become popular," the watchdog said.

According to Roskomnadzor, social networking sites are monitored for suicide-related content in a non-stop regime.

"The suicide-related pages are forwarded to Rospotrebnadzor for evaluation and are subsequently blocked on the basis of its decisions. Moreover, we have close cooperation with administrations of domestic and foreign social networking sites. Such content is deleted promptly on the basis of their internal regulations," the press service said.

February 6 marked the Safer Internet Day, established in 2004 on the European Commission’s initiative.

According to Sergei Grebennikov, who heads the Internet Technologies Center regional non-governmental organization, about 34% of all Internet users have to deal with problems involving illegal content, 28% - e-commerce-related issues, and 16% - phishing.

"We need to start forming the integrated safe internet space all over the world, because making a safe internet haven in one country would be wrong from the development point of view," he said during the Cyber Security Forum 2018 international conference.