Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from June, 2015
Hashtags and User Networks in the Putin-Poroshenko Twitter Chatter
Network graphs reveal the associations between individual Twitter users in Russia and Ukraine and the hashtags they include in their tweets about presidents Putin and Poroshenko.
Israel Intercepts International Gaza-Bound Freedom Flotilla
"It is disappointing that the Israeli government chose to continue the absolutely fruitless policy of 'no tolerance', meaning it will continue to enforce an inhumane and illegal collective punishment..."
How Russia’s Biggest Homophobe Joined an LGBT Social Community
One of Russia's most popular satirical online communities has used the recent US Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage to troll St. Petersburg's most infamous homophobic politician.
Muscovites Protest Placement of Giant St. Vladimir Monument
In Russia, citizen activism has halted construction, for now, of a gigantic statue honoring 10th century ruler Saint Vladimir atop Moscow's Sparrow Hills.
The Man Who Supported Ostriches and Other Viral Adventures of Viktor Yanukovych
Did Viktor Yanukovych really just happen to live in a private zoo owned by someone else? And what's the deal with those ostriches? Social media users explain.
Russia Bans the Internet Archive's ‘Wayback Machine’
The Russian government has blocked the Internet Archive, the San-Francisco-based website that provides the popular Wayback Machine, which allows users to view archived webpages.
Russian ‘Troll Factory’ Agrees to Compensate Former Employee, But She's Just Getting Started
An alleged Russian "troll factory" has agreed to compensate its former employee for unfair labor practices, but the former "troll" seeks to further expose the company and its inner workings.
Macedonian Activist Ends Hunger Strike for Migrant Rights
On Saturday, June 20, human rights expert and activist Suad Missini ended the hunger strike he started six days prior in protest of inhumane treatment of migrants passing through Macedonia. Mr. Missini issued the following statement [links added]: While the effects of the changes of the Asylum Law are yet to...
No More Internet: Website Models Effect Of ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ on Russian Search Engines
A new website created by Russian advertising executives asks Russian users to imagine what search engines will look like in 2018—if the “right to be forgotten” bill becomes law.
Moscow Entrepreneur Crowdfunds Honey Business to Rescue Dying Ural Village
A tiny Russian village in the Urals is getting new jobs and a reputation with foodies—thanks to a crowdfunding boost engineered by a social entrepreneur from Moscow.
A Picture Worth a Thousand Russian Expletives
Last week, eight of the most prominent journalists working in Russia posed for a controversial group photo with the former leader of Donetsk's separatists. Here's what happened.
Russian Censor Says It's High Time the Country Developed Its Own Messenger App
Russian officials bemoan the lack of control and access to user data in foreign text messaging apps as a threat to "national security."
Smokey the Bear, Meet Your Russian Cousin and Eat Your Heart Out
A national park on the coast of Kamchatka has hired a popular online cartoonist to illustrate a series of public service announcements intended educate visitors about safety around bears.
Self-Proclaimed ‘Donetsk People's Republic’ Now Has an Internet Blacklist
A new law in the rebel eastern Ukraine state instituting a blacklist for webpages with content "prohibited in the republic" seems to be targeting Ukrainian media websites.
Is the Kremlin Watering Down Russia's ‘Right to Be Forgotten’?
Kremlin officials and Yandex reportedly reached a compromise that will weaken the next draft of legislation designed to introduce to the RuNet a "right to be forgotten."
How the Kremlin Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Online News Aggregation
According to a new study, the Kremlin appears to have mastered several ways to fool Yandex.News into promoting government-planted stories to an audience that surpassed 23 million people in April.
Russian Lawmakers Vote to Support First Draft of ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Law
Only one Russian lawmaker voted against the new draft law, with other members of parliament overwhelmingly supporting the "right to be forgotten" regulations for search engines.
Human Rights Activist Begins Hunger Strike for Migrants in Front of Macedonian Parliament
The growing migration crisis has recently also affected countries in southeastern Europe, with new issues arising almost daily. Reacting to the inhumane treatment of migrants who pass through Republic of Macedonia, renowned human rights activist Suad Missini started a hunger strike in front of the Parliament building in Skopje. He began...
Twitter Discourse Around Putin and Poroshenko in Ukraine and Russia
In a new installment of our citizen-media data-analysis project, All The Presidents' Tweets, we use word clouds to visualize the Russian and Ukrainian discourse around Putin and Poroshenko on Twitter.
Hungarian Activists Raise a Boatload of Cash to Counter a Government Campaign
In less than seven days, Hungarian journalist-activist Katalin Erdélyi and her team raised over 100,000 dollars to fight the government's new anti-immigrant campaign.
Russia Moves Forward on ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Bill Despite Industry Protests
Lawmakers insist on adopting the new legislation that would require search engines in Russia to delete links to information and content online based on user requests.