Reddit could be blocked in Russia, after users suggest tips on growing weed

Russian internet watchdog makes a 'wanted' poster for Reddit and says that it may 'block the whole site'

A Reddit mascot is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California April 15, 2014
A Reddit mascot is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco, California April 15, 2014

The Russian government could block the whole of Reddit, in response to a thread about tips for growing cannabis.

Russia already blocks a long list of sites, including those of the Jehovah’s Witnesses church and the Internet Wayback machine, which archives the internet, and has issued similar threats to YouTube. Now it looks like Roskomnadzor, which regulates the internet and telecommunications, has announced that it might block Reddit entirely, in response to just one thread.

The watchdog said in a post on Vkontakte, the Russian Facebook, that it had asked for one thread to be removed but had not received a response. Now it has said that the site will be blocked if those behind it don’t respond.

“Those who have contacts with the administration ask them to check their email for letters from Roskommandzor, otherwise, due to technological features, many operators may block the whole site,” the watchdog posted on Vkontakte, according to the International Business Times.

As well as the message, the watchdog created a Wild West-style “Wanted” poster that featured the Reddit alien in the middle.

Reddit’s terms say that it will take down content that it thinks is infringing copyright, but that discussing illegal activities including drug use is permitted.

Wikipedia has already been blocked for similar reasons, with authorities citing its page on “Cannabis Smoking” as reason that it should be banned. Sites of prominent political critics like Alexei Navalny and famous chess player Garry Kasparov have also been banned.

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