Thanks, /r/trees and /r/shrooms. Your informative threads and playful conversations have ruined the fun for all of Russia!
Independent journalists and Russian government watchdog group Meduza reports that the government of Russia banned popular link aggregate site reddit, or have at least urged internet service providers to block the entire domain, all because of a single thread on how to grow mushrooms containing psilocybin.
Officials claimed that they had warned administrators of the action, citing unlawful discussions and drug use advocacy in such “subreddits” (small communities with a particular focus… er, seriously, you’ve never been on reddit?) as /r/trees and /r/shrooms.
The “shrooms” subreddit has an obvious focus, but “Trees” is slightly better disguised. Known as “ents”, the focus is on a plant that grows a little shorter than most arborists are used to (and one we’re quite familiar with). Russian officials complained that drug cultivation was widely and openly promoted within those communities.
To be fair, they’re correct, but it’s not like it’s the only place you can find such information. The communities are moderated responsibly and (at least attempt to) disallow youth participation while also sharing helpful information regarding harm reduction and responsible use.
A single thread may have resulted in the ban hammer. Meduza cited “Minimal and Reliable Methods for Growing Psilocybe [Mushrooms]” as the offending thread that sparked the fury of officials.
If it gives some context: the Russian government claimed that everyone in Washington, DC will become drug addicts when cannabis became legal for recreational use earlier this year. So it’s kinda hard to take them too seriously, and the ban likely won’t last long.