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

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 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Good luck ...

    ... with that.

    I doubt very much that any Russian, except possibly the most inept, will lack alternative sources of information relating to those drugs due to this censorship. However, this is an example of censorship and should be noted and tutted at, in the strongest possible way.

    God forfend that such a thing would be allowed within our hallowed lands (I obviously extend the definition of "our" to include the US, Canada, Aus, NZ, SA, some of the more reputable bits of the EU and possibly Wales)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Russia is a slow-mo failed state

    Russia is a criminal state in which a sufficient bribe can get you out of any trouble, as long as you aren't posing a threat to those in power.

    So continues the Russian campaign of moralizing and pandering by banning information about safe drugs like psilocybin and cannabis, while alcohol and krokodil continue to mysteriously kill off its hopeless people. A nice counterpart to criminalizing the distribution of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships" to minors.

    1. Chris Parsons

      Re: Russia is a slow-mo failed state

      Could not agree more. Always has been, always will be. Any state which is at war with its own people, where corruption is the norm should be viewed with extreme suspicion. Compared to Stalin, the Nazis were pussycats.

      1. Mark 85

        @Chris Parsons -- Re: Russia is a slow-mo failed state

        Then at this point, all countries in the West are at war with their citizens. We're all treated with suspicion and there is corruption in the governments. Lobbyists, special interests, etc. are legal corruption.

        1. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: @Chris Parsons -- Russia is a slow-mo failed state

          In the United States, lobbying, whether or not one likes it, is rather difficult to describe as "corruption", as it is a constitutionally protected activity. The exact wording, in the First Amendment, is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances".

          That last phrase legitimizes lobbying and makes it difficult to restrict much beyond making bribery illegal. But that may not matter greatly, as a legislator who takes side payments for exercise of official duties is as corrupt, or more, than one who offers the bribe, but is subject mostly to discipline by other members of the legislature, something that legislators seem loath to do. The Congress also may be disinclined to regulate lobbying (within First Amendment limits) because public relations firms and policy advocacy organizations always are eager to hire former legislators after they retire or their constituents dismiss them. And in the end, it is the voters who decide whether to retain a Senator or Representative because he (or she), possibly corruptly, acts to their collective benefit, or to elect someone new who will do a better job.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You what?

    I find it extremely difficult to imagine some great mass of "Russian activists" falling over themselves to "switch on their VPNs" in order to gorge themselves on the US' vacuous Plebs' Propaganda Organ. Extremely difficult.

    Perusing US gov databases, phishing phunds phrom phucktards, exchanging wares, etc., then yes, it's business as normal no doubt, but a sudden surge of VPN traffic to suck up "Uncle Sam's" shit? Really Reg? What the hell have you been smoking?

    1. Old Handle
      Thumb Down

      Re: You what?

      I could be wrong, but I would assume most of Wikipedia's million+ Russian articles were written by Russians. It wouldn't surprise me if it has a somewhat Western slant, but if you want to learn a few quick facts about something uncontroversial like frogs or the rings of Saturn I'm sure it's a very useful resource just like the English version.

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

        Re: You what?

        Please do not feed the troll

  4. Mark 85

    Controlling Drug Information are they?

    Why? Are the vodka makers losing business?

  5. aberglas

    This is not about drugs

    It is about access to alternative sources of political information. Wikipedia cannot by its nature be cowered in the same way that Redit etc. can. Ignorance is strength.

    If I were the Russian government, I would set up an alternative. In order to ensure quality all editors would have to have their real names registered. I would also provide funds and rewards to encourage contributions, a few rubles per article would suffice. All articles would be carefully reviewed before publication, to ensure quality and to protect the children.

    Much of the non-controversial content could be lifted directly from Wikipedia. 90% of Russians would then not bother looking elsewhere, and who cares about the other 10%. Might even set up a collaboration with our friends in China.

    Hmm, our friends in the UK are also very interested in protecting children, this could become a major export.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. PCS

    I living in Moscow and (so far) both Wikipedia and the "offending" page are still accessible.

    Welcome to 1984.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Turn your computer off.

      Stand up.


      The black maria has just been dispatched...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Putin wants a return to USSR, doessn't he?

    Sooner or later the Putin administration will cut access to all sources of information it does not control. Maybe not very effectively (this is Russia, after all). Drugs is just a pretext. Gay rights may be the next.

    By the way, the same pretext can be used to block The Economist which advocates both decriminalization of drugs and gay rights. I hope they'll at least stop trolling sites they block (the trolling is anyway mostly for internal use).

    1. Elmer Phud

      Re: Putin wants a return to USSR, doessn't he?

      It is well known that homosexuals use cannabis to lure straight men and boys in to drug dens where they are instantly addicted and then raped continuously by depraved animals.

      That the homophobic misogynistic thugs are fuelled up with crap booze and even nastier speed is not an issue.

      But at least the women can be turend by just raping them.

      No, not a return to USSR -- this is a rightwing bastards dream.

      Putin and the G.O.P are fuck-buddies.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Putin wants a return to USSR, doessn't he?

        I ought to add that the first bit about 'luring the unsuspecting' dates back to at least the 1950's here in Blighted.

        Remove 'homosexual' and swap for 'Chinese', 'Indian' or 'Negro' to suit decade or add others for the full Daily Mail experience.

      2. Lars Silver badge

        Re: Putin wants a return to USSR, doessn't he?

        "Putin and the G.O.P are fuck-buddies.". One up vote for you, no difference there, same goals same methods same thinking, sad as it is.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Putin wants a return to USSR, doessn't he?

        Elmer Phud,

        You must be a raging liberal!

        If you had bothered to get out of your mothers basement in the last 7 years you would have seen that OBAMA and Putin are fuck buddies and Obama is on the bottom.

        A GOP President would not have just rolled over when Russia stole the Crimea and the eastern half of Ukraine. But Obama did, and so must you have rolled over for Putin.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Putin wants a return to USSR, doessn't he?

      <<Gay rights may be the next.>>

      Umm, it is perfectly legal to be a homosexual in Russia, at least according to the constitution. Most homosexuals go about their business discreetly although occasionally running into trouble with less tolerant members of society.

      What is against the law is propagandising homosexuality to children (much like in Thatcher's times). And if you look at how strong the homosexual propaganda organs have been working in the West on the same-sex "marriage" issue, perhaps you might see some sense in the matter.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: Putin wants a return to USSR, doessn't he?

        homosexuality is legal but isn't it funny how many homosexuals suddenly develop criminal tendencies when the authorities want to lock them up?

  8. msknight

    It's all clear...

    By keeping the population in the dark, then no one will be able to identify the strange small wafting from the Kremlin.

  9. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Because there are no other online resources

    telling you how to grow plants ?

  10. x 7

    methinks that not only in Putin a closet gay, but he's a closet junkie as well. And he wants to keep all the available dope for himself/

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "local ISPs must block not just the offending article but the entire site"

    So, in Russia the solution to terrorism is to gas everybody, and the solution to a bad page is to ban the website.

    Why such restraint ? He should've simply banned the Internet, that would have solved all the problems, right ?

    1. Alien8n

      Re: "local ISPs must block not just the offending article but the entire site"

      "Why such restraint ? He should've simply banned the Internet, that would have solved all the problems, right ?:

      What? And slash Russia's economy? (How much of their GDP is generated by scams and email phishing I wonder?)

  12. Elmer Phud

    Crowd Control

    Vodka, only Vodka

    We cannot allow anyone to think, they must be addicted to alcohol or we are doomed.

    Only drones allowed.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Crowd Control

      Not just Vodka, Russians also like their коньяк (cognac), some of it pretty good too

    2. Trollslayer

      Re: Crowd Control

      Made with best methanol.

      There is a Russian condition with the common name 'yellow eye' because of all the tainted vodka.

    3. hplasm

      Re: Crowd Control

      Crowd Control - Vodka Cannons on the street!

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Crowd Control


        If the police are equipped with vodka cannons, then - I predict a riot.

        Personally I will be looting all the tonic and limes I can get from Sainsbury's - and then waiting for the police to come and quell the angry mob.

        Note to self: Must remember to loot some snacks as well.

    4. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Crowd Control

      Sounds like Cameron's Britain, after the bill to ban all mind-altering substances except alcohol, nicotine and caffeine gets passed...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Crowd Control

        <i>Sounds like Cameron's Britain, after the bill to ban all mind-altering substances except alcohol, nicotine and caffeine gets passed...</i>

        It was Labour that made possession of Psilocybe Semilanceata illegal, the stupid, stupid cunts.

        nb. Interesting. Yesterday I could use HTML.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Next up:

    Potato growing and alcohol production for drunks and idiots...

  14. Colin Miller


    Erowid's Psychoactive Vaults is only a click away, unless you live under Mother Russian's apron strings.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like