#Opinion

Russian Influencer Pulled Up For Nude Photo Near Church: When Content Goes Rogue

Polina Murugina
Russian influencer and social media star Polina Murugina is reportedly facing jail time for a stunt she pulled near a religious site in her home country. The 24-year-old, sporting a body full of tattoos, posed nude in front of a church in Moscow. The photo was shared to her Instagram channel, which is now shut down, and went viral on the internet.

The visual sparked wide backlash against the young streamer who is being accused of offending religious beliefs. If found guilty, she could land behind bars for a year or shell out a fine of £3,000, as per The SunLocal media suggests the controversial photo was taken last year but only recently caught the attention of law enforcement in Russia.

Murugina is not the first internet celebrity to be pulled up by Russian authorities for daring to bare it in public. Kremlin is cracking down on nudist stunts by influencers under conservative policies pushed by President Vladimir Putin.

Last year too several such cases came to the fore.

Influencer and OnlyFans star Rita Fox was sent to detention for “hooliganism” after she shared a photo with her pants pulled down outside the city’s St Isaac’s Cathedral. A model named Irina Volkova also faced legal heat for flashing her derriere at the same church. Meanwhile, a couple too faced imprisonment for allegedly simulating oral sex near a cathedral. Read more here.


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The string of such cases from Russia points to an online trend that appears to be cashing in on sensationalism. With nude bottoms and lifted skirts, influencers seem to be going far lengths to keep followers hooked and likes streaming in. Scandal always makes heads turn anyway.

The situation also does raise some questions though. Are influencers perhaps making too many transgressions in the name of creative content? How much of it is mere public mischief and how much is authentic expression? And are followers being able to differentiate between the two?

How much worth does shock value delivered on the back of content that may be considered offensive to a section of the audience hold really? Can influencers afford to play casual with culturally sensitive subjects like religion?


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Not just in Russia, but the influencer content world at large has gone rogue. And the consequences are usually not humorous. In India last year, a vlogger attracted legal action after cruelly “flying” his pet dog with helium balloons for a video. A disturbing case surfaced from Hong Kong where a Douyin influencer drank pesticide on livestream as a virtual audience egged her on.

In the pursuit of perfect selfies and under the brunt of merciless trolling, several young influencers across the globe continue to lose their lives with shocking frequency. Read here.

Sure, the internet offers space for people to go crazy and vibrant with their dreams. But the pitfalls it bears, to the extent that influencers are ready to invite trouble for capers that are possibly entirely avoidable, demand urgent consideration. For the sake of the safety of each social media user.

Views expressed are the author’s own.