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Russia bans all of Reddit after discovering two-year-old post on drug tips

  1. Phungushead
    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

    James Titcomb
    The Telegraph

    The original post was in Russian... Here is a (at least fairly decent) translation:


  1. Phungushead
    Russia Bans And Unbans Reddit For Magic Mushroom Post: Here's What Happened

    [IMGL="white"]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=45560&stc=1&d=1439650377[/IMGL] Reddit is back online in Russia, on the condition that Reddit remove one page permanently, at least for Russian Redditors.

    The page, titled Minimal and Reliable Methods for Growing Psilocybe, a kind of psychedelic mushroom, continues to be prohibited in Russia. However, the rest of Reddit is now available again after Roskomnador, the Russian counterpart of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), banned the entire website.

    Apparently, Russia was not planning on blocking Reddit altogether. In a statement posted on Vkontakte, a popular Russian social network, Roskomnador said it was trying to contact Reddit's administrators to ask that the page be removed from the Russian website but to no avail. The Russian Federal Drug Control Service deems the page harmful because it promotes the use of drugs.

    "Those who have contacts with the [Reddit] administration - ask them to check their email for messages from Roskomnador," the Russian agency said. "Otherwise... a number of operators may block the entire site."

    It appears Reddit's administrators did not check their email, or they might have initially decided that blocking the page would be an infringement of free speech because following the post, Reddit users in Russia have started reporting that they were unable to access the website.

    However, much of Reddit went back up just a few hours later, minus the offending post. Roskomnador confirmed Reddit administrators have finally gotten in touch, with the promise to ban the page in Russia, a move that has sparked another branch in the network of fiery debates about cleaning up Reddit's heap of offensive content and upholding the website as a bastion of free speech.

    "Will I remove this post? No," says Reddit user rsocfan, who posted the page. "I also think that Reddit administration needs to do nothing. This is [an] important issue on freedom of speech, and only RKN want to violate it."

    For its part, Reddit says it will comply with requests to remove certain content and "closely review these requests considering applicable local laws."

    "We want to ensure our services are available to users everywhere but if we receive a valid request from an authorized entity, we reserve the right to restrict content in a particular country," a Reddit spokesperson tells TechCrunch.

    14 August 2015

    Nicole Arce
    Tech Times
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