Up In Smoke! Russia Threatens Reddit Ban If Admins Don’t Nuke Thread Promoting Weed

A Reddit thread on growing marijuana plants has caught the attention of the Russian government, which appears to be preparing to block Reddit in its entirety. Russia has a history of taking a heavy-handed approach to U.S.-based Internet companies that fail to comply with its requests, so Reddit is likely taking the threat seriously. So far, though, the U.S. website hasn’t flinched.

What started as an unexciting takedown request from the Russian government quickly turned into a public mess after Reddit apparently didn’t (according to Russian officials) respond. Russia then threatened to bring out the country-wide ban-hammer, sending the message with a public post on social networking site Vkontakte.

russia reddit ban

“Those who have contacts with the administration ask them to check your mail for letters from Roskomnadzor otherwise due to the technical features a number of operators may block the entire site,” a rough translation of the post reads.

The post is from Roskomnadzor, the Russian organization referred to as the “Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications.” The post features an image of a “Wanted” poster bearing the Reddit logo, which is a pretty aggressive move, considering that the organization is simultaneously asking Russian citizens who know Reddit employees to help them with some backchannel diplomacy.

Vkontakte users seemed annoyed by the Roskomnadzor post. “What are you doing – complete nonsense,” wrote one user, according to a rough translation. 

Whether this will actually result in Reddit being blocked in Russia remains to be seen. In any event, Russia’s clearly serious about preventing marijuana-growing tips from reaching its citizens online, and it’s not afraid to deprive its people of huge swaths of the Internet to do so.
Tags:  Russia, ban, Reddit