Medvedev`s Facebook plea invites scorn, insults

`So you`re against the slogan - For Honest Elections?` was a typical comment posted by Facebook users.

Updated: Dec 12, 2011, 21:27 PM IST

Moscow: Angry Russian Facebook users have
poured scorn on a pledge by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
to investigate reports of poll rigging, with over 10,000
people flooding his home page, some of them posting offensive
comments.

Having already conceded that some violations of electoral
law had taken place at the parliamentary elections on December
4, Medvedev went on Facebook yesterday to say he had issued
instructions for all official reports on the conduct of the
polls to be checked.

Medvedev also wrote that he disagreed with the slogans as
well as with the speeches that were made at the rallies
following the vote that was slanted to favour his and Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin`s United Russia party.

His comments came after Saturday`s massive election
protests in which some 50,000 people turned out in Moscow
alone, demanding re-election.

"I do not agree with either the slogans or statements
heard at the rallies. Nevertheless, instructions have been
given by me to check all information from polling stations
regarding compliance with the legislation on elections,"
Medvedev wrote following the unprecedented anti-Kremlin
protests.

In polls to the Duma, United Russia lost its overwhelming
majority of 315 seats in the 450-strong lower house, but
retained 238 seats, allegedly due to ballot-rigging.

After the Russian President posted his thoughts, more
than 10,000 people flooded his page with replies, many of them
insulting Medvedev.

Facebook users pointed out that the chief, official
slogan of the rallies had been "For Honest Elections".

"So you`re against the slogan `For Honest Elections`?"
was a typical comment posted by Facebook users.

"Pathetic liar", was another, while some writers peppered
their observations with obscenities, visible just under the
president`s message.

Of the 100 comments viewed, roughly a third were hostile,
and the rest divided about equally into supportive and
neutral, the BBC reported.

Earlier in the week, the Kremlin blamed a member of staff
for an obscene message sent from Medvedev`s official Russian-
language Twitter account.

Twitter, Facebook and other social media have been used
extensively both by Russian opposition activists seeking to
uncover electoral fraud and organise protests, and Kremlin
supporters.

Medvedev prides himself on using social media while his
mentor, Putin maintains a much lower profile on the Internet.

PTI