The BBC’s Robert Greenall:
Set up by US developer Brad Fitzpatrick in 1998, as a way to communicate online with his friends, LiveJournal—complete with its mascot “Frank the goat”—may seem at first sight a strange medium for Russia’s new-found political vibrancy. But Russians have made LiveJournal their own, turning what is in the West a relatively obscure and nowadays rather dated platform into a huge, seething mass of political anger, colourful prose and clever repartee.
A great deal of Russian news media seems to show a Soviet propaganda-machine heritage, whether in outright state ownership, as with RIA Novosti, or “merely” deep political and financial ties with the Kremlin, as with RT. However, their Internet came of age in the 1990s, in an unusually liberal political period—and because of that, it evolved in an unusually unrestricted and uncensored way. As the reporter notes in a sidebar, even for oligarchs who’d like to crack down, that door may prove very tough to close.