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Media: Russia's state censor to track Putin memes with help of AI

by The Kyiv Independent news desk February 8, 2023 8:07 PM 1 min read
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Russia's federal agency for monitoring and censoring communications, Roskomnadzor, is planning to use AI to try to track online posts, comments and memes critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to a report by Russian investigative outlet iStories.

A leak of more than 2 million documents from Roskomnadzor, reported by iStories, German newspaper Suddeutche Zeitung and other partners, revealed that the agency was tasked with being Putin's personal watchdog, dedicated to tracking down anyone criticizing the president. Information from the agency will be passed on to Putin's administration and Russian law enforcement bodies.

The report stated that a unit of over 1,000 employees within Roskomnadzor specializes in tracking content ranging from speculations about Putin's health to memes that mock the Russian leader.

According to the report, developers have begun training neural networks to recognize such content, to improve their efficiency at tracking it down.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, Roskomnadzor has blocked 125,000 pieces of content about Russia's war on Ukraine and adjacent topics as of January, according to the report.

Even after sanctions, Russian economy can pay for war

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