OK, now Russia is just fucking with us. According to the BBC, the Russian parliament's lower house has just approved a measure to ban swearing in shows, film, concerts, and plays. What's more, the bill would also fine regular citizens up to 2,500 roubles ($70) for cursing in public, while Russian officials would have to pay double.

Animal reports that the original Russian news report says that censorship would be applied to "public performances of works of literature, [contemporary] art or folk art containing obscenities, through theatrical, cultural, educational or entertainment event.” If that's the case, the new law looks like it could be used to limit even broader expressions of public speech.

Remember, this is the country that imprisoned Pussy Riot for "hooliganism" and openly persecutes practitioners of "gay propaganda." More restrictions on freedom of speech aren't much of a surprise at this point. If the upper house also approves the bill it will become law on July 1. According to the bill, what counts as a swear word will be determined by a panel of experts. It's unclear what, exactly, an "expert" at cussing would look like, but the whole thing sounds very shitty indeed for anyone who wants to use colorful language in public. 

[via BBC and Animal]

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