Global Freedom of Expression


Russia’s recent problem with Reddit

Key Details

  • Themes
    Content Regulation / Censorship

On August 12, 2015, Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, sent an order to internet operators to ban a page on Reddit. The news was posted on Roskomnadzor’s Vkontakte page, Russia’s social networking website.

The order came following an August 10th announcement by Roskomnadzor that Reddit has ignored its repeat requests to delete a thread on growing hallucinogenic mushrooms, and that the page, as well as the website, might be banned in Russia. Below is a translation of the August 10th statement provided by our staff.

“Per the request of Government Drug Control (Gosnarkkontrol – Госнаркоконтроля), [we] are preparing to add a page of the website Reddit that contains an article on growing narcotic plants.

The request to delete the article has been sent several times to Reddit, but no action has followed so far, although our previous communications have been processed quickly.

We accept the possibility that during the August holidays someone has relaxed in their work duties, but this should not be a reason to risk with readership.

If anyone has contacts with the administration – ask them to check their mail for a letter from Roskomnadzor, otherwise, due to technical particularities, several internet operators may block the website altogether.”

On August 13, 2015, Romskomnadzor announced on VKontakte that Reddit’s administration blocked Russian users from access to the illicit page. The one day ban prevent access to Reddit to possibly thirty percent of Russia’s internet users.


Bach Avezdjanov

Program Officer, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression