"Covid" elections-2021: you can't campaign, but if you really want to, you can

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"Covid" elections-2021: you can't campaign, but if you really want to, you can
"Covid" elections-2021: you can't campaign, but if you really want to, you can
1 February, 13:23Photo: www.thehindubusinessline.com
New laws, like hot cakes from the oven, came out in dozens from the hands of lawmakers on New Year's Eve. This includes the law banning political agitation on social networks.

If the document is finally adopted, then from now on, only those who "will officially conclude an agreement with this or that party or candidate" will be allowed to openly express their political preferences.

Those who simply write on this topic on their page face a fine of up to 20 thousand rubles for citizens and up to 500 thousand rubles for officials. But in recent years, political campaigns have been very successful in exploring the Internet space.

How will candidates for a warm place in the civil service in 2021 act now? Strictly comply with the new requirements? Or try to outwit the law? Or maybe they will simply add these fines to their item of expenditure on propaganda? "Novye Izvestia" asked about this political scientists and authors of political telegrams of the channels. In their opinion, it is not difficult to find a loophole in this law. But you have to be creative.

Ilya Grashchenkov - General Director of the Center for the Development of Regional Policy:

- Let's first delve into the very concept of "agitation". It is one thing to place banners "Vote for Tyapkin" - this is campaigning, and not very effective. Another is to order publications denigrating opponents of that same Tyapkin. This will work better and will not fall under the article. Now they do not practice direct agitation, they act natively, on consciousness.

And what is it to be fooled by this law for violations of the sanctions are simply ridiculous. This money is a drop in the sea of the general budget for the political campaign. The ban on campaigning in the press already exists, and what do we see? Everyone spat on him, and a day or two before the elections they just print, then they pay these pennies.

Political Telegram channel "Meister":

- On the prohibition of agitation: they will get out. If the owners of publics and channels can still lay their personal risks in the price of placement, then a candidate's disregard for the electoral legislation may be worth removing from the race. Moreover, the scope for action is large enough. And prove that this material is "agitational" and not "informational", and prove that money was paid for it, and prove that it was paid by a person somehow connected with the candidate, and not by "enemies" who want to substitute " an honest man. "

After all, restrictions only take effect from the moment a candidate is registered. Prior to that, an ordinary citizen of Russia can even hang the entire Internet with images of his face, paying for this business with his personal card.

For many years, traditional media have been living in conditions of rather strict restrictions imposed by electoral legislation. This does not particularly prevent them from taking cash from parties and candidates without accompanying the published texts with a campaign warning. So, only open campaigning “head-on” will be “under attack”.

Anatoly Spirin, the author of the political Telegram channel "SOME THIS IS":

- For pro-government candidates, these restrictions will not be a problem - an obvious victim of the new law will be Internet campaigning for opposition, non-systemic candidates, therefore, they will be punished selectively and point-wise. I believe that the only way to avoid responsibility would be to create massive anonymous Internet structures, the same anonymous "opinion leaders", campaigning in chats, in public.

Only complete anonymity and a stake on massiveness with spam, chat bots, network disparate and decentralized structures will avoid responsibility. The rest is already creative: for example, adaptation of news for hidden campaigning, maximum native "seeding" in social networks in the interests of candidates.

Another part of the experts is completely sure that there is not much sense from the vaunted social networks. The money for propaganda on the network is not small, but only the electorate of these networks is in no hurry to give away their love except in the form of likes and reposts.

Alexander Kynev, political scientist:

- Social networks are still not effective. The main stake in any election was and is on a low turnout. Look at the turnout dynamics, we simply do not have it, although the budgets for campaigning in the same social networks are only growing. What does this mean? That the same people come to the elections who are obliged to attend them. The systems for mobilizing this segment of voters are conservative and have been worked out over the years. Show me the numbers where it will be reflected that social media has an effect. These numbers simply do not exist. Nevertheless, I think they will continue to invest in campaigning in the networks. Fines scare no one - we have many different fines, but they do not stop anyone. How has this been done in recent years?

Someone will be supported, but there will be more conspiracy. The videos will come out, but from anonymous channels, so that later there will be no end to who did it. Trying to ban online campaigning is like trying to ban summer or winter. It can be done on paper, but it will have nothing to do with life.

Alexey Mukhin, General Director of the Center for Political Information:

- It is clear that the appearance of the elections has been changed, but it is not known how the campaign will be conducted, especially considering the new ban on its use in social networks.

Perhaps this is the situation when we cannot say anything other than that these will be the most unpredictable elections in the history of modern Russia.

TG channel "Kremlin Mamkoved":

- In any case, the shift of voters' attention to the Internet has already taken place: in the current conditions it is becoming more difficult for parties to establish communication with the electorate, which forces them to switch to the structures of network communication. The approved bill banning political campaigning on social networks, if the experiment is successful, could be expanded.

If necessary, the same network structures and Internet technologies that became widespread during the period of the official blocking of Telegram will become a counterbalance to the restrictions on campaigning. Already now, we can state the start of VPN campaigning and proxying communications with voters.

So why bother creating such an apparently crude law that could be easily circumvented? And if, nevertheless, the lawmakers, putting a spoke in the wheels of their successors, decide to expand the project package and prohibit other Internet technologies for campaigning, then what will the candidates remain? The answer to this question is simple and obvious - to collect votes with the help of the native and beloved ruble.

Who can claim the politicians' generosity ahead of a single voting day? The answer is in the following article of Novye Izvestia.

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