Government officials hope the site, which will go live sometime this month, will overshadow current Russian competitors such as VKontakte and Odnoklassniki — currently the most popular social networks there. This new social network is part of an electronic-first push by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who forced ministers to use iPads and has pushed for the government to stop using paper.
This is Russia’s way of fighting back against social media opposition, but experts are skeptical that Russian citizens would want to join a Facebook-like site launched by the Kremlin. Andrei Soldatov, an expert on Russia’s security services and the Internet, was quoted in The Guardian, noting that people will likely be hesitant to sign up:
If the government creates some form of social network, then people will not join it. It is not realistic.
Readers: Do you think Russian citizens would sign up for a government-created social network, or will VKontakte and Odnoklassniki continue to be the dominant forms of social media in that country?
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