Friday, May 24

Defamation against one evil cat- the Internet

Turns out, there exists one very evil cat- the Internet. And its punishment is a new priority for Azerbaijani authorities. According [AZ] to the Director of social- political committee Ali Hasanov "Up until now, Internet has been like a homeless cat, overstepping every boundary, trespassing and no one could face it? Why?!"

"How is it possible that a journalist writing for a paper with a readership of some 10,000 people [probably referring to opposition papers, though I am pretty sure most of our pro- state papers don't have more readership either] is responsible for an article he/she writes but nobody is responsible for the information read on the Internet by 3million or 10million people. This cannot be possible, this is really "lawlesness" ["bespredel"]". 

Interesting- I wonder if Ali Hasanov intends to monitor and control most if not all of the cyberspace. Who knows?! What we do know is Azerbaijan's current population stands at approximately 9.4million. The total percentage of those even with an access varies depending on which source you look at- state vs. independent. The State Fund for the Development of IT under the Ministry of Communication and Information Technologies (MCIT) reports 48% of computer use and 65% of Internet use in the country in 2011. Now these are pretty high indicators when compared to the data provided by the Caucasus Research Resource Center's (CRRC) Caucasus Barometer. In their calculations, the center reports the following (for the year of 2012):
  • - 59% of Azerbaijanis never used Internet;
  • - 12% of Azerbaijanis didn't know what Internet was [as a result of lack of education and information there are few directions in the understanding of what Internet is, ranging from open access to online port and unethical behavior to unnecessary tool, to the evil of all evils and etc.- I should mention that the "innovative" understanding of Internet becomes worse in regions of the country];
  • - 19% of Azerbaijanis used Internet once a week or more;
  • - 7% of Azerbaijanis used Internet once a month or less;
Now back to Mr. Hasanov. So if we take these statistics into account, either Mr. Hasanov thinks Azerbaijan has bigger population, or knows something what we don't know at all. Which would explain the sudden and wide gap between the 3million and 10million people reference. And well, the access to and use of Internet is a whole different thing. Oh and then there is the gender factor- majority of Internet users in Azerbaijan are men. It is considered an act of shame to walk into an Internet cafe somewhere in a village as a girl- who will marry her then?! Because that is a bigger and more important question...

So, beware the dangerous, bad cat, Ali Hasanov is after you!

To read more about the Defamation Law, visit here.

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