February 23, 2002
4:09 PM   Subscribe

"The PRAVDA Forum" in English. Vlad Putin's homeboys serve up Colombian FARC manifestos, and grin- "Let's roll!" They invite you to mix it up with black blockers, American hawks, meglomaniac spymaster wannabes, Osama fans, Nazis and ethnic cleansers, irate Israelis, Pakstanis, Indians, hardcore feminists, peaceniks, dolphinsavers, conspiracy theorists, and the Chinese. Free speech in wartime, Russian Communist style. (Warning: Offensive content guaranteed.)
posted by sheauga (8 comments total)
A stiff wind from the Arctic seas, Siberian winters and Chechnya. Defenders of free speech- are you still sure it's a good idea? If so, why?
posted by sheauga at 4:11 PM on February 23, 2002

Just so you know, pravda just means "truth" in russian. pravda.ru is not related to pravda the newspaper.
posted by delmoi at 6:02 PM on February 23, 2002

defenders of free speech- are you still sure it's a good idea?


If so, why?

I think that question was answered by your "Offensive Content Guaranteed." Noone has a right to go through life unoffended. As a matter of fact, offensiveness is great, in my opinion. When you offend an oppressive institution, you challenge it. If you offend someone by slapping them in the face with an ugly reality, perhaps you'll goad them to action. And if it's something that offends me, so what? Better that I see it in the open, istead of having it grow secretly in a dark corner while I'm not looking. That answer your question?

(If you're being ironic, bravo on your subversive wit. If not, what a silly question)

posted by jonmc at 7:34 PM on February 23, 2002

"There's no pravda in the news and no news in Pravda" - my best go at the post-Revolution Russian saying. The second part seems to apply here.
posted by Kevs at 9:00 PM on February 23, 2002

There appear to be two truths--
the Russian and official versions,
as well as the Wired and the Standard truth.
posted by sheauga at 9:53 PM on February 23, 2002

"Defenders of free speech- are you still sure it's a good idea? If so, why?"

Goodness, why would an internet discussion board alter anyone's feelings about free speech?
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:27 PM on February 23, 2002

I've heard there's more than one paper named Times, and maybe at least two named Gazette. The very idea!
posted by dhartung at 3:27 AM on February 24, 2002

Almost everyone writes off this website as something totally spurious. It might not be.

My impression is that the forum discussions on politics provide a tabletop in cyberspace where individuals can sidle up and move a few pieces around, anonymously. I find it odd that instead of attempting to de-escalate conflicts through suppressing hate speech, on this site they say stuff on the order of: I'm letting you know indirectly, but in no uncertain terms, using every dirty word and racial slur in the book, that I think Egypt's got the rockets and that means you're not going to go after Iraq. Ha! (Maybe this is nothing more than that unsettling, Gen-X-er directness in interpersonal communications, which tends to alarm older folks?)

But who's to say what's really going on these forums, or who's really participating? I spotted a page recently that claims to be about "Diplomatic strategies for freelance individiuals and states which sponsor international terrorism and engage in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." Providing a .ru domain where oddball scenarios get thrashed out is a rather interesting experiment in developing diplomatic-style communications with e-mailers -- e-mailers with points of view that might or might not be represented by an embassy or an organization.

Maybe there are lots of discussions like this on the web, and I just don't know about them. If so, does anyone have any links?
posted by sheauga at 5:45 PM on February 24, 2002

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