Russia Blocks Reddit

by Paul Davies, August 20, 2015


Russia Blocks Reddit

Russia Blocks Reddit, Reddit, known as ‘the front page of the internet’, it is a place where millions of users share thousands of news stories, internet memes and tips and advice every day and a whole range of topics.

Reddit Ban

However, one post on the site offering advice about how to grow hallucinogenic or ‘magic’ mushrooms has lead Roskomnadzor, the Russian government agency which oversees the media, to place Reddit on a blacklist, blocking it entirely for many Russian users. Roskomnadzor claimed it was acting on behalf of the Russian Federal Drug Control Service, which said the thread prompted the cultivation and use of illegal drugs.

The Ban is Lifted

The ban turned out to be short lived however and within 24 hours Russian users were able to access the site again, once Reddit administrators apparently took action to block the offending content being available to Russian I.P addresses.

In a statement Roskomnadzor said, “On August 13, federal officials received on their “hot line” a message from the site’s administrators saying Internet users in Russia no longer have access to the illegal content. Roskomnadzor has confirmed [Reddit’s] full compliance, and accordingly removed the website from the registry of illegal online materials.”

This is not the first time that Russian authorities have taken action to have content removed or blocked from the internet. YouTube was recently warned it could find itself on Russia’s online black list because of alleged copyright violations. YouTube removed Russian TV shows from their site to prevent this.

Under the regime of President Vladimir Putin, Russia has enacted a series of restrictive laws that strictly control what is allowed on the internet, allowing the Kremlin to block access to a wide variety of sites.

In the last year, the Russian government also requested that Twitter to remove 121 posts, while Facebook was asked to restrict access to 84 pieces of content. In 2013 Wikipedia was blacklisted in its entirety because of a single page about “Cannabis smoking.”

Freedom of Speech

While the Reddit ban was still in place the author of the original post, a user called ‘rsocfan,’ said that he would not delete the mushroom growing guide.

“Will I remove this post? No. I also think that Reddit administration needs to do nothing. This is important issue on freedom of speech, and only [Roskomnadzor] want to violate it.”

Many users are now questioning the fact that Reddit appears to have given in to government censorship, with some Reddit users believing that Reddit should have kept the post up as a move to defend free speech.

Reddit issued a statement saying, “Reddit is a US company that operates a website with millions of users, posts, and comments. We regularly receive government requests around the world to remove content from Reddit and closely review these requests considering applicable local laws.”

While a lot of the sites users are perplexed by Reddit’s right to “restrict content,” to everyone at EasyHide VPN it seems that stability, rather than freedom of speech, is Reddit’s biggest priority right now.