According to local Internet watchdog, Roskomnadzor, the country’s federal drug control service opposed a particular subreddit that published an article on the cultivation of growing narcotic plants for public access.
Roskomnadzor also complained about Reddit not responding to its emails and even claimed that the company’s employees were “too relaxed during the August holidays”. In the meantime, people with contacts at Reddit are urged to email it and ask to get the subforum removed. Reddit’s staff was ordered to search their inboxes for previous correspondence or Roskomnadzor implements a block on the website.
It should be reminded that the company recently changed its rules, but still allowed the discussion of illegal activities: Reddit’s administration explained that it was going to remove anything illegal from the site, such as copyrighted content, while discussing illegal activities, including drug use, was not considered illegal and therefore allowed to remain.
By the way, the Russian watchdog does have precedent for blocking websites. A couple years ago, Wikipedia was made inaccessible after publishing content related to cannabis. Back in July 2015, content was removed from YouTube following copyright claims. Roskomnadzor also partly blocked The Pirate Bay, Wayback Machine, GitHub and Kremlin opposition sites. In the meantime, Russian users are still able to access the blocked websites, but only when using VPNs.