Since January 12, when posting comments at the Russian President-s official video blog was authorised, the number of registered visitors has exceeded 10,000 people. On Monday at 7pm moderators of the President-s blog registered 10,219 authorised users. Over 2,500 of them have left their comments at the blog.
Dmitry Medvedev started his video blog in October 2008 at the official web site of the Kremlin. Since then there have been six addresses posted on it. Such matters as sports and recreation, the financial crisis, fighting corruption, education and blogging garnered a huge response by the blog-s visitors.
The most popular question to the head of the state is whether he reads comments at the blog and if he intends to answer them. In his latest address posted on February 2, Medvedev gave an affirmative answer to this question. The president has promised to "hit some of the most important matters".
Medvedev also set the task to the Presidential Administration to analyse carefully the comments and opinions and get ready to bring their suggestions on the most important problems. The most alerting matters raised by the blog-s visitors will be replied to in writing.
Freedom of speech in the President-s blog
According to the rules set for the blog, those who want to leave their comments on the President-s addresses must be authorised on his web site. An e-mail needs to be provided in order to obtain a username. If the rules of the web site are followed, the comments may even reach the President himself.
Registration may be revoked if offensive language is used. Comments are checked by moderators before being posted at the blog. Comments are not published if they: incite hatred or discrimination; contain offensive remarks or threats; infringe the rights of minorities or children; spread confidential information about people without their permission; are used for promotional purposes; or contain spam or advertising.
Straight critics of the President are not very apparent among the thousands of comments. However many of the blog-s visitors are dissatisfied with state policy in the major spheres of the economy - such as the manufacturing industry, small businesses, and housing.
Since January 12 a total of 4,764 comments have been published on the site.