Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Economics. Management. Law

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ISSN 2542-1956 (Online)

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Social media in the context of Russian and German Constitutional Law

Lipchanskaya Maria Aleksandrovna, Saratov State Law Academy
Privalov Sergej A., Saratov State Law Academy

Introduction. The role of social media is objectively increasing in modern digital information space. They are much involved in shaping public opinion while democracy and civil society are being built and developed. Social media also contribute to the freedom of speech guaranteed by the Constitution. In the context of globalization, the development of state legal regulation often turns to the implementation of the rules which have already been tested in other countries. The fast development of relations in the field of social media and piecemeal legal regulation of this field in Russia make the foreign experience highly demanded. Theoretical analysis. Social media is one of the key actors in shaping public opinion. However, the current legislation of the Russian Federation very superficially regulates the legal status of this media institution. In turn, the Federal Republic of Germany has more experience in the legal regulation of social media. Based on a certain proximity of the state and legal mechanisms of Russia and Germany, as well as the high level of development of democratic institutions of the latter, the authors analyzed the status of social media in the constitutional and legal space of these countries in order to study the possibility of adapting the German experience to improve Russian legislation. Empirical analysis. The high degree of influence of social media on public opinion is due to a number of specific characteristics of their creation and functioning: the spontaneous nature of content creation, the high speed of information dissemination, the minimum level of external influence, the easily perceived nature of information. Taken together, these characteristics of the institution significantly complicate the implementation of legal regulation in relation to them, effective and efficient in practice, which also determines the conduct of the study. Results. We have studied common and individual features of the legal regulation of social media in the Russian Federation and the Federal Republic of Germany. Based on our conclusions, we are coming up with several proposals for the improvement of the Russian legislation on social media. Russia has significant weaknesses and conflicts of laws in the sphere of media production and information dissemination. Russian legislation in no way covers the social media not registered as mass media in the manner prescribed by law. In our opinion, the German legislation on social media also has certain deficiencies. However, some rules may be adapted to Russian legislation. Based on our research, we propose to draft a federal law on social media, which would partially reflect German experience.

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