We need a broad public discussion of the topic of toughening the punishment for insults and threats on the Internet, primarily in relation to children. This was stated by Senator, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction Irina Rukavishnikova.
“The speech concept of“bullying on the Web”or cyberbullying, from the point of view of law, includes a whole range of illegal actions - insult, blackmail, slander, threat, - Irina Rukavishnikova noted. - For each of these actions, the legislation already provides for administrative or criminal liability Thus, it is unreasonable to introduce any separate article for "bullying on the Net" into the current Russian legislation. " At the same time, the senator drew attention to the fact that the speech should be "about a qualified approach to the possibility of toughening responsibility for such actions, primarily in cyberspace and in relation to minors."
Rukavishnikova recalled that a bill was recently submitted to parliament that proposes to toughen criminal liability for libel on the Internet. She drew attention to the fact that this is the issue that deserves attention. "Firstly, all these acts on the World Wide Web occur publicly. Secondly, slanderous information, as a rule, is distributed among an unlimited number of people through reposts. Thirdly, it is almost impossible to completely remove illegal information disseminated in this way on the Web.", - noted Rukavishnikova.
In her opinion, even if the original source of defamation voluntarily removes it or is blocked, "he does not bear any responsibility for numerous reprints of false information published by him." In other words, the consequences of online crime are long-term and severe for the affected party. And they require legal prosecution.
In November 2020, a bill was sent to the Federation Council, which provides for the introduction of new articles on the bullying of minors on the Web into the Code of Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. It provides for amendments to the federal law on the protection of children from harmful information. In particular, the developers consider it necessary to include information containing threats, blackmail, insults, slander and other information that degrades the human dignity of children and their loved ones to the list of types of information that is harmful to the health of children and is prohibited for distribution among them.