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Kevin Rothrock

Native son of the San Francisco Bay Area. Masters from UC Berkeley in Soviet History. Between 2009 and 2011, I worked with Leon Aron in Washington, DC, at the American Enterprise Institute. Since 2010, I've blogged at ‘A Good Treaty.’ Read my tweets (there are thousands) at @KevinRothrock and @RuNetMemes. Now also a producer of Meduza‘s English-language edition.

Email Kevin Rothrock

Latest posts by Kevin Rothrock

28 June 2015

How Russia’s Biggest Homophobe Joined an LGBT Social Community

RuNet Echo

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.

25 June 2015

Russia Bans the Internet Archive's ‘Wayback Machine’

RuNet EchoGlobal Voices Advocacy

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.

21 June 2015

A Picture Worth a Thousand Russian Expletives

RuNet Echo

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.

18 June 2015

Smokey the Bear, Meet Your Russian Cousin and Eat Your Heart Out

RuNet Echo

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.

17 June 2015

Is the Kremlin Watering Down Russia's ‘Right to Be Forgotten’?

RuNet Echo

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."

16 June 2015

How the Kremlin Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Online News Aggregation

RuNet Echo

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.

11 June 2015

Samsung Allegedly Agrees to Comply with Russia's Data-Localization Law

RuNet Echo

Speculation that Samsung will bow to Russia’s new data-localization demands comes amid rumors that other prominent tech companies have agreed to move users' data to servers in Russia.

9 June 2015

Facebook Responds to ‘Stop Political Blocking’ Petition by Russians and Ukrainians

RuNet Echo

In a statement posted to on June 8, Thomas Kristensen, Facebook’s director of policy for Eastern Europe and Russia, explained that the social network stands by its moderation policies

6 June 2015

Russian Activist Dons Stilettos and Dog Collar to Protest ‘Sadists’ Law’

RuNet Echo

Submitted to the Duma in late May, the legislation would expand the circumstances under which guards can use force when confronting anything from a prison break to a disobedient prisoner

2 June 2015

Taking Russia’s Troll Factories to Court

RuNet Echo

Last week, a woman named Lyudmila Savchuk announced that she is suing Russia’s most famous “troll factory." Savchuk says she worked for this office until March as an undercover reporter.

1 June 2015

Russia Claims Another Victory Against Twitter, But Here's What Really Happened

RuNet Echo

This is not the first time Russian censors claim to have persuaded Twitter to comply with takedown requests. As before, Moscow’s claim today that Twitter “deleted 32 links” is inaccurate.

21 May 2015

Activist Ambassador Lawyer Journalist: What It’s Like to Be Hated Online in Russia Today

RuNet Echo

Earlier this week, Afisha magazine's Nina Nazarova published a collection of fascinating interviews with four public figures who have played major roles online and in the news in Russia.

16 May 2015

Mr. Bureaucrat, Russia's ‘Wrinkled’ Young Women Would Like a Word

RuNet Echo

In response to a sexist outburst by a ranking government official, young women have started posting selfies with the hashtag #WrinkledWoman while scrunching up their faces to lampoon the remark.

13 May 2015

How the Internet Both Facilitates and Challenges Rape in Russia

RuNet Echo

The explosion of online social networks makes it easier than ever for sexual predators, but the Internet also presents women with new weapons against a legal system stacked against them.

6 May 2015

How Twerking May Destroy a Russian Small Business

RuNet Echo

A Russian cosmetics company is using a scandalous dance in its marketing, and a Russian politician says the ad commits a “depraved act” against minors.

29 April 2015

What Has Happened to Russia's Best Independent Radio Station?

RuNet Echo

It's still one of the few outlets where you’ll find independent reporting and analysis, but Echo of Moscow has become Russia’s liberal radio station that Russian liberals love to hate.

20 April 2015

The ‘Beauty’ of Russian Homophobia

RuNet Echo

Titled "Beautiful People and What They Say to Me," LGBT rights activist Lena Klimova posted photos of individuals in their everyday lives, and the threatening messages they’ve sent her online.

16 April 2015

There’s Already a Rap Song Dedicated to Russia’s Twerking Bee-Costumed Teens

RuNet Echo

Young people in Orenburg are changing their profile pictures on VKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network, to a banner that reads, “We don’t want to fight, we want to dance.”

10 April 2015

The Kremlin Declares War on Memes

RuNet Echo

By saying it is illegal to add celebrities’ images to certain memes, the Kremlin could be opening the door to banning a whole genre of absurdist online humor.

5 April 2015

Anton Nossik in ‘Open Russia’ on the History of Kremlin Botnets

RuNet Echo

We translated Open Russia's interview with Anton Nossik about the significance of Russian bot networks and their legacy in the modern history of Kremlin politics.

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