The RuNet Generation - An Exploratory Study of the Russian Digital Landscape

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This exploratory paper is part of a series examining the role of Internet in the lives of youth living in the Central and Eastern Europe Commonwealth of Independent States. This report focuses on Russia and bases itself on secondary evidence gathered through a desk review of reliable studies and hard data. The first section describes the technological reality in Russia and the peculiarities of its digital landscape. The Internet in Russia is dubbed the RuNet, and provides a range of technological platforms to a population that exchanges overwhelmingly on Russian-bred websites instead of western equivalents. The second section investigates the use of digital networked technologies by Russian adolescents and young people. The third section analyses the research available on the types of safety risks faced by the Russian youth when navigating the Internet. Research shows that youth are facing risks such as cyberbullying, exposure to indecent content, and are often chatting with and meeting strangers offline. The study concludes with the assertion that as the opportunities associated with information and communication technologies rapidly expand for Russian adolescents and young people, so too does the need to educate users on their safe and optimal use.


Akshay Sinha

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