Direct Line 2018, Part 2
See Part 1 here:
Vladimir Putin has held his 16th annual Direct Line Q&A on June 7th, 2018. The entire conference was 4.5 hours long and this year has included all regional governors and heads of Ministries to be available live via video conference. In this segment, Putin answers questions from a community of internet bloggers – which, in my view, was a terrible idea – but I can see the strategy behind it. A president that has been in power for many years must appeal to the younger audience, especially given that that’s what his younger political critics zero in on.
However, the questions posed were so stupid – I find it hard to understand how they made it to air. There have been many contenders for the most stupid question ever of course, but I won’t get into those now. Here, Natalia Krasnova, knowing full well the social problems of her native town of Chelyabinsk – chose to ask the question whether ‘bloggers’ would ever be a recognised as a profession in Russia. Firstly, is it recognised anywhere in the world at all? And secondly, I don’t think she understood that by formalising it, she asked, in effect, to be taxed.
That’s what happens when you’re selfish and have only your own interests at heart, as opposed to your community. I feel President Putin trolled her in style.
The others simply didn’t know enough about the subjects they were approaching – both crypto-currency, and electric vehicles. This is in stark contrast to when Putin speaks to young Russian industry leaders in other areas – not internet blogging.
However, Putin did shed some light on the issue with Telegram messenger. As is known, it is probably the only messenger that is not available to special services of any country (Unlike WhatsApp, for example). This has caused some controversy because freedom of communication, and privacy, can also allow those of extremist views to communicate without repercussions. The case against Telegram is currently in court – it must either allow Russian special services to view communications should they require it, or cease to exist.
Read the backstory: