When it comes to censorship, Russia sounds like a rough place. Last week they were threatening to block Reddit if it didn’t proactively block /r/trees to Russian IP addresses, a very popular Reddit subgroup. At first Reddit sounded like it would play hardball, but then eventually gave into Russia’s demands. This week news articles have surfaced about Russia threatening to block Wikipedia if it didn’t proactively block a cannabis related entry to Russian IP addresses. Per The Independent:
The Russian government has threatened to ban Wikipedia over a page explaining charas, a hashish type of cannabis.
Roskomnadzor, the Kremlin’s internet watchdog, has reportedly written to Wikipedia’s administrators saying it will be ban the website in its entirety unless the entry – which basically provides a recipe – is removed.
According to Meduza, which calls itself ‘the real Russia Today’, Roskomnadzor has issued a statement: “In the event that Wikipedia refuses to comply with the court’s ruling, [we] will block the webpage on Russia territory using the registry of illegal information.”
According to the article, Russia has even banned memes. As an American that exercises my First Amendment rights everyday, I’m appalled at what the Russian government is doing. Especially since a lot of their focus seems to be shutting down cannabis pages. Cannabis is harmless. Government censorship is not.