View attachment 45557 Country's internet regulator demands internet providers block post on website, making all of Reddit unavailable to many Russians
Reddit's community has earned it a few enemies over the years, but few more powerful than the Kremlin.
Roskomnadzor, Russia's censorship agency, has ordered the country's internet service providers to block access to a post on Reddit, after the country's drug agency declared that the website was harbouring drug-related information.
The diktat appears to have come after officials discovered a post providing tips on growing psychedelic mushrooms. The offending post, written in Russian but titled "Minimal and Reliable Methods for Growing Psilocybe [Mushrooms]," lay dormant for two years, without comments or upvotes (a Redditor's stamp of approval that promotes it to other users).
On Monday, officials posted on VKontakte, Russia's equivalent of Facebook, saying they had asked Reddit to remove the post, and uploading a "Wanted" poster featuring Reddit's alien mascot.
After claiming to have received no response, they have now ordered that internet providers block the post. However, because Reddit uses secure browsing technology that encrypts communications, many ISPs will reportedly block the whole website. Reddit is one of the world's most popular internet communities, with more than 30 million users. The site itself was flooded with comments from Russian users, many of whom are likely to use virtual networks, which mask their location, to remain on Reddit.
On Wednesday night, the author of the post claimed responsibility for the block, in Reddit's "Today I F****d Up" [TIFU] section. The user, "rsocfan", said he would not remove the post as he wanted to highlight the country's clampdown on free speech.
The ban is the latest clash between Russia and an American internet company. Last year, Vladimir Putin ordered Facebook, Twitter and Google to comply with internet legislation that forces them to base servers in the country.
Some Reddit users in Russia said they were still able to access the website, so ISPs may be introducing the ban slowly, or simply blocking the offending post.
13 August 2015
The original post was in Russian... Here is a (at least fairly decent) translation:
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
Russia bans all of Reddit after discovering two-year-old post on drug tips