Russian state media denies swear words blacklist


Moscow: The VGTRK, also known as the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, has denied that TV channels in the country have compiled a list of officially prohibited swear words, RIA Novosti reported.

Support TwoCircles

“How do you imagine that? I can say for sure that I’ve seen no such lists, and would be very surprised if there is one,” said VGTRK spokeswoman Viktoria Kurcher.

A list comprising more than 350 words and expressions was published online Saturday by journalist Vladimir Varfolomeyev, deputy editor-in-chief of the opposition Ekho Moskvy radio.

The list comprised several moderately offensive words such as “ass” and “shit” as well as harmless definitions for homosexuals.

It also included Russian equivalents of “F-” and “C-words”. The structure of the Russian language allows creation of dozens of derivational forms of a word using prefixes and suffixes.

Varfolomeyev said TV channels have formally instructed all content producers to never use any of the words in their product.

He said the ban was in accordance with a new law to protect children from harmful information in media, which comes into force in September.

The law was earlier criticised by the media community, who said its vaguely-formed prohibitions on violence, sex and substance abuse could result in bans even on Disney cartoons and serve as a pretext for censorship.

The government refused to modify the law, but promised to revise it based on how officials on the ground will apply it.