What's Russia smoking? Kremlin bans Wikipedia for dopey article

And now the whack-a-mole begins as Russian activists switch on their VPNs

Updated Fresh from its victory over Reddit over posts about hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms, Russia is now taking on Wikipedia over articles about Marijuana.

Russia's telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor is again the protagonist, acting in its role as the long arm of the nation's Federal Drug Control Service. The latter agency is bound to stamp out “promotion” of recreational drugs, which means Russians' eyeballs are not permitted to encounter information about how one might go about making a wide variety of substances.

The offending Wikipedia page describes Charas, a type of hashish that the page explains is made when “During hand-harvesting, live cannabis plants' flowering buds (as opposed to dried plants/buds) are rubbed between the palms of the harvesters' hands.”

Roskomnadzor has posted a notice suggesting that local ISPs must block not just the offending article but the entire site.

Wikimedia's site, blog and social feeds are silent on the incident at the time of writing, but efforts like Zapret, a list of Internet addresses filtered by Russia, have already added Wikipedia to their lists in order to allow VPNs to route around the nation's ban. ®

Updated to add

Surprise, surprise. Russia unbanned Wikipedia within 24 hours of this article going live, apparently.


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