Like most authoritarian leaders, Vladimir Putin has a fragile ego. (See, also: Trump, Donald J.) The Russian president is apparently so temperamental that an entire team works “around-the-clock” to make sure he’s not exposed to any online images where he’s portrayed unflatteringly. However, considering the internet is the Wild West when it comes to memes, the Russian team’s efforts require a heightened level of diligence and a vast knowledge of things that Putin never wants his face on. Like, for example, crabs.
We swear to god we’re not making this up. Via The Daily Beast:
Putin’s image is reportedly monitored almost around-the-clock, with staffers signing on at 8:30 every morning to look for any online chatter that could pose a threat to the Russian leader—including any memes that diminish his macho image, such as his face superimposed over the body of a crab, or the equally threatening declaration, “Putin is a crab.”
The team is, of course, on the lookout for any instances of Putin being portrayed as a pedophile or serial killer, but the list doesn’t just stop there and gets oddly specific. According to The Daily Beast, Putin must never be referred to as “Putler” (Hitler references are big no-no), “bald dwarf,” or Zaches, “a freakish little boy from an 1819 German fairytale.”
Putin’s strong, authoritarian image must also never be near pornography, homosexual images, pictures of trash cans (???), or human excrement. Whether that last one is because of the report that Putin fell down a flight of stairs and pooped himself is unknown at this time, but it’s probably a factor.
(Via The Daily Beast)