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75 percent of Russians don’t want their kids to become bloggers

When discussing opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the Russian political establishment does its best to adhere to two principles: try never to refer to him by name and always describe him as a “blogger,” not a politician or even an activist. A new survey by the state-owned Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) helps explain why the Kremlin is so eager for the public to see Navalny as a blogger: 75 percent of respondents said they object to their own children and grandchildren becoming bloggers. Most of these people say they don’t consider such work to be a serious or particularly useful profession.

Just 14 percent of Russians told VTsIOM that they wouldn’t be against their kids pursuing a career in blogging. Another 11 percent found the issue too difficult to respond to the survey question.

More than half of the poll’s respondents (51 percent) said they believe blogging is a passing fad. Three years ago, 26 percent of Russians didn’t even know the meaning of the word “blogger,” but that group has now shrunk to just 14 percent. Today, 46 percent of Russians say they themselves follow at least one blog, but respondents are roughly split when it comes to assessing the independence of bloggers: about 43 percent either agree or reject the claim that bloggers operate independently from the state and corporations.

VTsIOM conducted its poll on September 5, 2020, by telephone, contacting 1,600 adults.