"Your Royal Majesty:
The public life in Russia has such a state, that it is difficult for simple people to coordinate their activity and achieve any improvements. Corruption, bureaucratic obstacles and suffocation of public initiative is everywhere. Therefore we ask for your help and sympathy.
We understand that the Russian Federation is a sovereign state, and you are not able to affect directly the public life of our country. However the very nature of blogosphere, being a part of world's exterritorial Internet space, makes the influence across borders possible. We, the users of "LiveJournal" (hereafter referred to as LJ), dare to appeal to you, because Mr. Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, a British citizen with well-known positions in English establishment, has entered management of SUP ("SUP Fabrik"), the company that controls Cyrillic sector of LJ. Until recently he served as Director of Strategic Communications in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Besides, recently your Ambassador to Russian Federation, Sir Tony Brenton, met in his residence with popular users of LJ and expressed his desire to contribute to the extent of his power and possibilities, to the development of communication between bloggers of the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. The meeting at the Embassy was unprecedented and was enthusiastically perceived by the Internet community. This gives us reason to associate our hope for benevolent participation in our needs with your country.
Your Majesty, there is another circumstance in this unusual address of our request. We know about your charitable activities that have continued for more than half a century. As head of the people of the Great Britain, Head of the Commonwealth and head of the Anglican Church, you bring enlightenment and humanism that light up all continents of the Earth. Your moral authority is indisputable, the ruling circles and ordinary citizens of other countries including Russia have to heed your words, perhaps even unwittingly.
In this regard we would like most respectfully to draw attention of Your Majesty to the following:
In conditions of the declining political freedom as well as rapid development of computer technology, the network of private Internet-blogs before our eyes turns into an important resource of free democratic press. Its potential is many times more than the potential of free radio of 1950-80s. Unfortunately, not only friends of freedom understand this but also enemies.
The company SUP and Mr. Anton Nosik, who took upon himself the role of representation of this company in blogger's community, are engaged in agressive commercial activities, such as placing banner advertisements in personal diaries of LJ users. Meanwhile our community has the noncommercial character; the majority of users maintain their blogs on non-profit voluntary basis. Often they spend efforts comparable to a working day of a professional journalist. The substantial part of the users is composed of poor citizens, especially in the Russian provinces. We consider acceptable to SUP to conduct commercial activity, but we want it to have non-predatory nature and to contribute directly to the development of the blogosphere. To that end, we believe that the establishment of a Board of Guardians would be expedient, which will include a number of respectable and competent LJ users, along with the businessmen from SUP. It would be possible to allocate to the Board a part of the profits, say 20%, which would be spent on charitable purposes, on organization of literary and art contests, exhibitions, and would go to accounts of bloggers having big resources or needing assistance (for example, living in remote parts of the country). This would stimulate the self-development of blogosphere.
At the same time the Board of Guardians could centralize and coordinate collection of funds for charitable purposes within LJ. At the present time with the connivance of Mr. Nosik and the management of SUP the process is conducted with violation of all rules and standards, which not only encourages criminal incidents, but directly discredits the very idea of the Internet charity. There are serious concerns that underground associations of criminals may operate under this cover.
Day and night Mr. Nosik pours through his blog streams of dirty obscenities, offending the honor and dignity of hundreds of thousands of users, among who there are many minors, religious people, and clergymen. The very title of Mr. Nosik's blog is derived from a highly offensive word. One should consider that the Russian language has a strictly hierarchical principle and such foul language in the context of normal word usage sounds as a direct insult and a challenge.
Even more unfortunate is that as a result of this hooliganism (?), new users of the resource do not receive a proper guidance. On the contrary, the person, whose name is initially associated with LJ, provokes people to rudeness, insolence and abuse by the very title of his blog. And after many decades without freedom of speech it is extremely difficult for people to open a dialog. As a result, intrusions into personal life constantly happen in LJ, scandals and squabbles over social and national matters often rock the blogosphere.
The last fact worth speaking about in particular. Many posts of Mr. Nosik are soaked in savage hatred to people of other nations and faith, such as residents of Middle East and Muslims. Should we say, that a few dozens of thousands people among the millions of Russian users are faithful Muslims, and they are directly offended by these statements. This type of expression can be neglected considering private nature of an ordinary blog, but with the name of Mr.Nosik entire LJ is being inevitably associated, and therefore his private opinion - the opinion of not exactly civilized and not exactly sane person - is taken for the opinion of the company, and indirectly - for the opinion of the entire mass of users. This creates absolutely abnormal situation around our blogosphere.
We also disagree with the cultivation of artificial hierarchy in LJ, resulting in the fact that a small number of users, so called "tysyachniki" (authors of the most popular diaries) turn into the closed caste, whereas a great bulk of bloggers are deprived of free competition and can make their way to the top of rating only via technical tricks. It appears that the relegation of "Live Journals" to the level of faceless robots represents the covered goal of SUP.
We respectfully ask Your Majesty not to refuse us the courtesy to use your high moral authority to help, under given political circumstances, transform LJ from the polygon of secret police, used for dirty PR-technologies, political provocations and criminal offences into a cultural informational resource, which in near future is destined to become the bastion of freedom of speech, democracy and tolerance.
We express a humble hope that our letter will be published in the British media, such as "The Guardian", where Mr. Wegg-Prosser worked in his time, and thereby our problems will become an object of international awareness and free unprejudiced consideration. And some of us, possibly being incorrigible optimists, hope for your personal participation in improving Russian blogosphere, at least in the form of moral sympathy.
Perhaps our problems may seem comical to you, and from a side we appear as a small fantastic nation, living in Lewis Carroll's virtual world behind the looking-glass. But currently more then a million people are bloggers in our country. Given the dynamics of blogosphere we will soon become 10 millions and these 10 millions will be recruited from the most educated and proactive part of 140-million population. The Great Britain always was able to combine reasonable conservatism with scientific foresight and daring social experiments. 21st century will inevitably create new means of communications, new forms of power and new types of political life. This is already happening before our very eyes.
Please accept, Your Majesty, the assurance of our highest consideration. (Signatures)"
vyrviglaz не специалист, поэтому возможны всякого рода неточности. Буду благодарен за поправки и уточнения. Я сам текст пока не читал. Автор перевода сомневается в некоторых местах:
"1. Не знаю как перевести "хулиганство". Владелец языка
предложил "disrespect", но это явно более мягкое
2. "Ваше Королевское Величество!" я заменил во многих
местах на "Your Majesty" без восклицательного. Это
более стандартное использование, восклицательный знак
для англичан выглядит не к месту. Можете вставить
"Your Royal Majesty".
3. Почтительнейше я перевел respectfully - но можно
усилить "most respectfully", хотя так говорят редко.
Было бы желательно выйти на каких-либо английских корреспондентов, аккредитованных в Москве. Возможно их заинтересует текст письма и сама акция. Если выход не получится, пошлём английский текст в редакцию "Гардиан" своим ходом.
P.S. Сбор подписей пока продолжается. Подписываться можно здесь.