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11 Oct 2021

Thomas Rowley,

Russia blocks major website for worker complaints following 'defamation' lawsuit; incl. company response

Russia blocks major website for worker complaints, 13 September 2021

An online database of anonymous complaints about Russian employers has been blocked following a Moscow defamation case...

Antijob, the site in question, has been in operation for 17 years, and hosts thousands of anonymous complaints about Russian employers. Complaints made on the website range from long hours and deceptive management practices to abusive working conditions and wage delays.

Roskomnadzor, the Russian communications regulator, blocked Antijob on 11 September after an online real estate broker, PIK Broker, won a defamation case against seven websites, including Antijob, that hosted complaints allegedly written by former employees. Under Russian defamation law, websites, including individual web pages, can be blocked for defamatory content.

The alleged former employees of the company, a subsidiary of leading Moscow property developer PIK, had left reviews that included claims about “unprofessional” conduct by management and mass firing of employees.

PIK Broker stated in its legal claim that this information was defamatory of the company. In its decision on 4 May this year, the Moscow Arbitration Court found that the alleged reviews of PIK Broker were “false”, “defamed [the company’s] business reputation” and were thus banned from circulation in the Russian Federation...

[incl. company response from PIK Broker]