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Russian lawmakers want government to develop automated system for hunting Internet ‘trolls’
Source: Izvestia

Vadim Dengin, who sits on the Duma Committee for Information Policy and Communications, has submitted a formal request to police and the Communications Ministry asking officials to develop software capable of automatically detecting Internet trolling. 

Dengin told the newspaper Izvestia that it's especially necessary to counteract online trolling when it leads to offline criminal activity. He cites research at Stanford and Cornell universities, where a study funded by Google produced an algorithm "that only needs to observe five to ten online posts to predict whether a member of an online community needs banning," reported Wired Magazine in April 2015.

Dengin told Izvestia that Russia needs software like this to protect its Internet users, but warned that "there is always a danger when using foreign programs that they'll collect data on you and turn over all your user data." 

Andrei Tumanov, another Duma deputy who has lobbied to reduce anonymity online, says he supports Dengin's initiative. "Trolls will die out, if going online becomes non-anonymous," Tumanov argues.

Russia's Internet ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev, who holds what tend to be more liberal views about online censorship and regulation, says he doubts trolling can be monitored or contained effectively using any automated system. "Trolling isn't all that much different from ordinary life," he told Izvestia. "If we punish people in real life for rudeness and similar things, then it's worth trying to stop it here [on the Internet], but the problem is people, not the Web."