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article imageRussia officially bans Reddit over narcotics thread

By Business Insider     Aug 13, 2015 in Internet
The Russian government has officially banned Reddit, one of the most popular sites on the internet.
China and North Korea are the other countries that have officially banned Reddit.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian agency in charge of media, pulled the plug on the open forum because it contains advice on how to grow "magic mushrooms", a psychedelic drug.
This decision was made after Russia's Federal Drug Control Service decided that Reddit content was promoting talks of these substances -- in communities that were most likely under subreddits r/trees and r/shrooms.
The culprit turned out to be a thread called "Minimal and Reliable Methods for Growing Psilocybe", reported Latvian-based Meduza, the first outlet to break the news. The muckraking publication was formed by a ring of 20 journalists after a Vladimir Putin ally famously fired a prominent Russian journalist from Kremlin media, and since then they've been training a close eye on the Russian government.
Earlier, the Russian government deployed its media forces to ask Reddit to remove drug-growing posts, but there was no reply, Vocativ reported. The Russian version of Facebook, Vkontakte, even posted a Wanted: Reddit graphic to express discontent with Reddit officials.
Russia has had an upturned nose towards pot legalization for a while now. The Russian Health Ministry predicted that "everyone [will become] a drug addict" when it was legalized in Washington D.C, according to The Washington Times.
China and North Korea are the other countries that have officially banned Reddit.
We've reached out to Reddit and Roskomnadzor for comment and will update this post when we hear back.
Update: Russian censors have removed Reddit from the registry of banned websites. It's accessible to Russian users, except for the offending page.
According to Konstantin Benyumov, Editor-in-Chief of Meduza, Russia's Internet Service Provider blacklisted only the URL. However, Russian law mandates that if the owner does that take down the illegal content in question, it restricts access to the entire site.
Effectively, the whole site was banned -- but not inaccessible -- countrywide for a short period of time.
The Russian social network VKontakte also posted that Reddit has fully complied.
This article was originally published on Business Insider. Copyright 2015.
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