The Russian government has threatened to block Reddit throughout the country unless the social news website eliminates a discussion thread that teaches readers how to grow drug-producing plants. The warning coincides with recent blockades on the Pirate Bay, anonymity services and similar threats against YouTube.
Roskomnadzor, the Kremlin's “Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom Information Technologies and Mass Communications,” announced on Vkontakte (the Russian equivalent of Facebook) that it has asked Reddit to remove the thread in question to no avail. Roskomnadzor doesn't specify which of the many drug-related Reddit posts compelled the possible block, though it does ask any readers with inside Reddit knowledge to reach out.
“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 post read, according to a rough English translation.
If the Russian government is indeed preparing to block Reddit, as it says, the controversial website will be another addition to a motley list of Roscomnadzor targets. Wikipedia was blacklisted in 2013 for including an explanation on “Cannabis Smoking,” and a number of websites criticizing Russia's invasion of Ukraine have also been blocked, the most prominent belonging to Vladimir Putin critics Alexei Navalny and Garry Kasparov, the chess champion. GitHub, a website belonging to the Jehovah's Witnesses church and the Internet Wayback machine have all also been blocked.