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Russia - Russia Bans the Wikipedia of Drugs (Erowid)

Discussion in 'Justice & Law' started by Phungushead, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Phungushead

    Phungushead Twisted Depiction Staff Member Administrator

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 21, 2005
    from United States
    [​IMG] Erowid.org's founder tells The Fix why cutting off access to reliable drug information is a bad idea.

    Russia has reportedly banned online drug encyclopedia Erowid.org, under a new law aimed at blacklisting websites believed to promote pedophilia, suicide or drug use. Billed as a "a member-supported organization providing access to reliable, non-judgmental information about psychoactive plants, chemicals, and related issues," the site contains an autonomous online library, like a Wikipedia of drugs. According to a post and screenshot on Reddit, the site is the latest casualty of Russia's "very strong anti-drug mentality." Earth, Erowid's chief software engineer, tells The Fix: "This is the first we know of a major country officially blocking Erowid.” Many of the site's users are up in arms, claiming that access to reliable information is vital to helping "responsible drug users" to stay safe. "No fucking drug addict goes on Erowid to see what drug they are taking," says a commenter. "You know who does? Responsible drug users who want to be safe. This will only result in more drug use and injuries. I guarantee the number of overdoses will increase because of this." Earth agrees, saying blocking the site will only increase "access only to bad information." Plus, he says, the move is futile. “There is nearly endless information about psychoactive plants and drugs on the Internet," he says. "It long ago became impossible to stop people from accessing this sort of information online.”

    Some commenters believe that a lack of access to good information has contributed to widespread use of “krokodil," a popular and dangerous drug that reportedly rots users' flesh. Despite Erowid's take down, online drug market Russian Anonymous MarketPlace (the country's version of Silk Road), continues to thrive. Earth believes that his site was banned because it's an easier target, compared to more technologically savvy, profit-driven drug markets. Regardless, he says the site has no intentions of stopping their educational work. “We're disappointed to hear that Russia as a country may have banned Erowid,” he tells The Fix. “We will continue to provide resources and suggestions for how Russian users can access reliable information about psychoactive drugs, just as we do for doctors and other health care professionals who are forced to work with poorly-considered and poorly-implemented website blocking on hospital networks around the United States.”


    By Bryan Le

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    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2017
  2. MikePatton

    MikePatton Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Aug 21, 2011
    27 y/o from israel
    Holy shit! With Krokodil as popular as it is in Russia, you'd think they would want to educate the public on drugs, but they seem to just bang their head against the wall hoping to crack it. Erowid doesn't even mention Krokodil, but it's packed full of information on other drugs as well as critical harm reduction tips, well at least they still have DF to get that info.
  3. Petri6

    Petri6 Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jul 2, 2010
    from finland
    I was in Russia a couple of years ago on an intensive course on human rights and freedom of speech was of course one of the subject matters. At that time they gave the impression that they are actually making progress on that area, but this seems like a big slap in the face. However, for the practical side of things, this probably has little effect on the knowledge about drugs in Russia since the vast majority of Russians do not speak English (and I don't mean this as an any kind of offense since they are the friendliest people I've ever met, it's just a fact that unfortunately very few people there speak English).
  4. Anna Thema

    Anna Thema Titanium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jun 9, 2009
    from U.K.
    Censorship row over Russian internet blacklist

    Claims that law aimed at blacklisting websites devoted to drugs, suicide and paedophilia is being used as a censorship tool

    Russian internet users warned on Monday that a new law aimed at blacklisting websites devoted to drug use, suicide promotion and paedophilia was being used as a tool for censorship after two popular sites were banned.

    More than 180 sites have been banned since the law came into effect on 1 November, RIA-Novosti, a state-run news agency, reported. No official public register of the blacklist exists, though the government has opened a portal where users can check to see if specific sites are on it.
    Analysts have warned that the vaguely worded law could be manipulated to crack down on the Russian internet, the one media platform untouched by the Kremlin's heavy hand.

    Two websites crucial to Russia's Internet subculture – a Russian version of anonymous imageboard and discussion site 4chan, and Lurkmore, a humorous Wikipedia-style site – said on Monday that they had both been added to the blacklist. Popular among Russia's tech and hacking communities, both sites managed to switch to different IP addresses and remain running.

    Lurkmore, with pages designed to look like Wikipedia, includes an entry on Vladimir Putin that collects insulting video and images of the leader, and describes him in terms such as "botox president", a reference to rumours of plastic surgery.

    Dmitry Homak, one of the site's co-founders, said Lurkmore was only alerted to the ban after users began complaining on Sunday night that they were being forbidden access. "That's the problem – we still have no official information," he said.

    A spokesman for Roskomnadzor, Russia's federal media monitoring agency, told RIA-Novosti that pages defining marijuana and bongs had prompted a request for the ban by Russia's federal drugs control agency.

    Homak blamed the ban on bureaucratic incompetence. "It's because we're popular – some official probably Googled "marijuana" and we were one of the first sites to come up," he said. The website gets 120,000 unique visitors a day.

    The website had joined a campaign that included the Russian versions of Wikipedia, Google and blogging platform LiveJournal, warning of the law's potential misuse before its adoption in July. Wikipedia warned that the law "will lead to the creation of a Russian analogue to China's Great Firewall".
    "We didn't think it would be like this," Homak said. "The law is not worked through – no one knows who to answer to, or for what. It's a clusterfuck."

    The administrator of the anonymous 2ch site, who only identified himself by his nickname Abu, also said the site had received no warning. He said he feared the weekend move to ban the popular sites boded ill for the future. "I fear that some idiots who don't even know basics about the Internet will start to censor everything and everything, just thinking that they are doing the right thing," he said in an email interview. "Like it is said: 'The road to hell is paved with good intentions'."

    Russian internet users reacted to the bans with outrage and sarcasm. One Russian Twitter user wrote: "They also need to ban Anna Karenina as suicide propaganda", adding a popular new hashtag: net censorship

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2013
  5. runnerupbeautyqueen

    runnerupbeautyqueen Palladium Member

    Reputation Points:
    Jun 23, 2010
    from Denton, Texas (so basically Dallas)
    Is that really the way it's worded, "suicide, drugs and pedophilia?" Not even "illegal drugs", just "drugs?"

    I feel for Russians. They're running around while their limbs are being eaten meanwhile their govt won't allow them access to clean needles, methadone, and now not even information?

    Why haven't I been bombarded with videos from Anonymous about this?
  6. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 14, 2003
    116 y/o from The Netherlands
    Please do not go to the site that was linked above to search for DF. that will likely add DF to the list if it is not on there already.

    Is there a full list of blocked sites somewhere?