Russia has banned memes

Russia has outlawed memes. That's according to an announcement made this week by censors Roskomnadzor, which according to a translation by the Washington Post makes it illegal to publish memes that depict public figures in a way that has "has no relation to [their] personality".

“These ways of using [celebrities’ images] violate the laws governing personal data and harm the honour, dignity and business of public figures,” the announcement says.

The ban came after a legal complaint from Russian singer Valeri Syutkin about a meme which falsely associated him with domestic violence. A court ruling that Syutkin had the right to ask Lurkmore, a website described by Vocativ as "the Wikipedia of Russian memes", to take the image down - promoted the Roskomnadzor announcement.

Under Russian Federal Law 398-FZ Roskomnadzor is allowed to block websites without a court order.

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