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Russia bans all of Reddit over a single 'shroom thread

Russia bans all of Reddit over a single 'shroom thread
Andrew Tarantola
Andrew Tarantola|@terrortola|August 12, 2015 8:10 PM

Russia's censoring spree continued on Wednesday when the government's internet agency, the Roskomnadzor, banned the entire Reddit website from Russian access -- all because of a single thread that discussed how to grow psilocybin (aka "magic") mushrooms titled, "Minimal and Reliable Methods for Growing Psilocybe". According to reports from Meduza, the ban came at the behest of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service, which felt that the content promoted discussion of these substances. The government had first sought to ban just the individual threads it found objectionable but, because Reddit uses HTTPS, the only way to eliminate of those threads was to nuke the entire site from orbit (it's the only way to make sure).

This decision follows Russia's earlier saber rattling over cannabis cultivation threads, though these actions were not wholly without warning. On August 10th, Roskomnadzor officials published a blog post chiding Reddit for not immediately capitulating to its demands, "We assume that the website is simply understaffed during the summer holidays, but this is no excuse to risk [losing] its entire audience [in Russia]."

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The Roskomnadzor maintains the state's federal blacklist of websites which are supposed to deal with child pornography, extremist content or subjects under to a gag order. In reality, it's more of a clearinghouse of information that the Russian government wishes to suppress including everything from the official Jehovah's Witnesses website to the Internet Wayback Machine to Facebook event pages that promote protests of the government -- even Chess Grand Champion/outspoken Putin critic Garry Kasparov's personal website.

[Image Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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Russia bans all of Reddit over a single 'shroom thread