Prosecutors to save Russian teenagers from SMS pornography

The Russian Office of the Prosecutor General intends to save Russian teenagers from demoralizing influence of entertainment magazines such as COOL, COOL GIRL and Molotok. These three magazines for young people enjoy great popularity in Russia.

Deputy Prosecutor General, Sergei Fridinsky, addressed to the Federal Service for Legal Control in Mass Media with a request to suspend the activities of the above-mentioned journals due to distribution of SMS pornography. Prosecutors believe that the advertising of various ringtones, backgrounds and video clips for cellular phones can be classified as pornographic material. The service is going to file lawsuits against 19 youth publications in total.

Officials from the Office of the Prosecutor General think that publications in teenage magazines corrupt underage readers propagandizing premature sex life. It is not the first time when the Office issues a warning to the magazines. The publisher and the editors of Molotok magazine have been officially and repeatedly warned before, but the editors did not show their understanding of the problem.

The content of COOL magazine was discussed in 1998 at a session of the Legal Chamber for Information Disputes. The dispute had a positive outcome for the magazine. The officials, however, reproached the editors of their inability to reach a certain balance between physiological issues and relations between teenage boys and girls. Experts did not find explicit pornographic materials in COOL magazine, and the editors were simply asked to take recommendations into account.

Prosecutors and deputies of the Russian parliament used to complain of the article content in the magazines. Nowadays, they express indignation against the sections advertising mobile phone services. According to Sergei Fridinsky, such sections virtually advertise explicit erotic materials disguised with colorful illustrations of cellular services. The commercial usage of such materials among underage individuals is legally banned in Russia.

The document signed by Mr. Fridinsky contains the detailed description of illegal content found in COOL, COOL GIRL and Molotok magazines. “In several issues of the magazines published from February till May of the current year experts found many illustrations meant only for adults, not for children. Animated photographs, colorful pictures, postcards, icons and other products for cellular phones depict images of naked men, women and animals in sexual poses. There were close-ups of male and female genitalia, obscene ringtones with foul language, as well as so-called mobile books and mobile videos which let teenagers download pornographic texts and clips on their mobile phones. Such advertisements can be classified as the exploitation of youthful hypersexuality,” the Deputy Prosecutor General of Russia wrote in the document.

The editors of the targeted magazines are not ready to comment to Sergei Fridinsky’s claims yet. However, deputy editor-in-chief of Molotok magazine, Ekaterina Mil, stated that Mr. Fridinsky’s accusations were unfair on all counts.

Specialists of the Russian Media Union support prosecutors’ intention to withdraw licenses from the magazines. However, they all say that preventive measures will not help improve the situation. A teenager will easily find another place where he or she can get adult materials.

Vremya Novostei

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov