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· March, 2016

Stories about Eastern & Central Europe from March, 2016

31 March 2016

This Russian Website Uses Neural Networks to Combine Images, With Awesome Results

RuNet Echo

A Russian website based on a neural networks algorithm allows Internet users to combine photos and works of art to create fantastical images.

30 March 2016

Russia Gets Its Very First Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

RuNet Echo

Last week, one of Nizhny Novgorod's biggest Orthodox churches got a new neighbor, located just around the corner: Russia’s very first Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

29 March 2016

Moscow Police Banned From Discussing Work Matters on Social Media

RuNet Echo

VKontakte, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and WhatsApp are now officially off limits to Moscow police officers who want to discuss work-related matters or exchange official law enforcement data.

26 March 2016

Center for Monitoring Propaganda and Disinformation Online Set to Open in Russia

RuNet Echo

Russia already has agencies that oppose and respond to cyberattacks, but the center's creators say it would be the first of its kind, monitoring and preventing information attacks online.

25 March 2016

Russian Censors Target Public Wi-Fi Spots in Crusade Against Blocked Websites

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

Russian censors are now policing public Wi-Fi in places such as cafes, shopping malls or public libraries, to make sure ISPs are blocking access to websites that are officially banned.

24 March 2016

Albanian Activists Rally Against a ‘Concrete’ End for Tirana's Last Public Park

"...the voice and perspective raised by numerous civic movements has met with outright arrogance by the Tirana Municipality authorities..."

23 March 2016

BBC Says Russia's ‘Troll Factory’ Faked a Video Showing a US Soldier Shooting at a Quran

RuNet Echo

According to an investigative report by the BBC’s Russian-language service, the footage was actually staged by St. Petersburg’s infamous “troll factory,” the Agency for Internet Studies.

Yahoo Reports First Content Removal Requests from the Russian Government

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

This is the first time Yahoo has reported receiving Russian requests requests to remove user-generated content from services such as Flickr and Yahoo Groups.

22 March 2016

European Union Signs Controversial Deal to Deport Refugees to Turkey

The EU will turn asylum seekers of all nationalities except Syrian back to Turkey, and accept one Syrian refugee for each refugee turned back.

20 March 2016

Russian Journalists Create New Independent Trade Union

RuNet Echo

Russian journalists have founded a new independent trade union organization to boost professional solidarity and provide more support for reporters working in the country.

19 March 2016

Twitter Through the Years: The RuNet Edition

RuNet Echo

For Twitter's 10-year anniversary, the Russian news outlet Kommersant collected dozens of "the most emblematic" tweets published throughout the platform's history. We picked out the ones coming from the RuNet.

17 March 2016

Russia Plans to Fine Websites for ‘Propaganda’ of Circumvention Tools

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

The Kremlin is so worried about internet circumvention tools it now seeks to make mere mentions of them illegal and introduce fines for "propaganda" of ways to access blocked websites.

Europe Negotiates With Turkey to Slam the Door on Refugees

"Europe’s concern goes no further than guarding its external borders and containing people within Turkey – depriving vulnerable people and children fleeing war and persecution from seeking asylum in Europe..."

16 March 2016

Russian Online Service Asks Women to Pay to Remind Their Boyfriends to Buy Them Flowers

RuNet Echo

“Using modern Internet-advertising tools,” the website says, ”we delicately remind your boyfriend that it’s been some time since he’s gifted flowers, and point out that flowers are important to women.”

14 March 2016

Hear That? The Global Voices Podcast Is Back.

After a three year break, the Global Voices Podcast is back. In this edition, we take you to Mexico, China, Tajikistan, Macedonia and Russia.

Uber Is Now Sharing Data With the Moscow Transportation Department

RuNet Echo

Uber, the popular and contested taxi alternative, is now cooperating with the Moscow authorities and sharing their car movement data with the local transportation agency.

Citizens Overwhelm Macedonia's Election Commission With Reports of Suspicious Voters’ Registry Data

The SEC published a new web app allowing Macedonians to report irregularities in the Voters' Registry online. Ten days later, they shut it down down because of too many reports.

12 March 2016

Are There Happy Places in Ukraine? Use This Map to Find Out

RuNet Echo

An international group of volunteers is creating an online map of all the places in Ukraine where people say they feel happy.

11 March 2016

Citizen Sleuths Can Now Officially Report Irregularities They Find in Macedonia’s Voters’ Registry

The State Election Commission in Macedonia is now crowdsourcing all suspicious Voters' Registry irregularities by adding a user-friendly feature on their Web app with which citizen can report irregularities.

10 March 2016

Anonymous Artists Place ‘Monument’ to Antidepressants in Macedonia’s Capital

A unique sculpture appeared in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, on March 9: a monument to the antidepressant Diazepam (also known as Valium).

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