Search engines may be asked to label toxic content on the internet

MOSCOW, February 17. /Then 24/. Internet search engines may be asked to label toxic content, as well as “lowering” it in search results. This was stated on Thursday by the head of the department for control and supervision in the field of electronic communications of Roskomnadzor Evgeny Zaitsev.

Search engines could either label this content as toxic in their SERPs depending on the registry they plan to create, or [должна проводиться] the pessimization of these resources in search results, that is, their underestimation,” he said during an extended meeting on “Combating toxic content on the Internet” at the Public chamber.

According to Zaitsev, owners of internet platforms could also label content deemed toxic and restrict children’s access to it.

“For example, platform owners may provide for its marking and restricting children’s access to such content, removing such material, refusing to provide any additional functionality, including, for example, the distributing advertising for offenders who distribute this content. Ultimately, by deleting the accounts of offenders who consistently distribute this kind of toxic content,” he added.

In total, since 2013, Roskomnadzor has blocked and deleted about 2 million pages of sites, content units, domains specializing in the distribution of prohibited material. At the same time, a number of foreign sites still do not remove such content, despite the fines.

“There are several thousand materials that they don’t remove. At the same time, there is a certain pressure mechanism on them, including administrative fines. In total, we imposed more than 250 million fines last year. We have imposed fines for repeat violations, which are negotiable, over 9 billion to foreigners. But at the same time, we understand that the spread of destructive content must be fought in all directions,” he said.

Rosemary S. Bishop