Russia bans Pornhub, YouPorn—tells citizens to “meet someone in real life”

Tom Mendelsohn (UK) - 9/16/2016, 10:15 AM

Two of the biggest porn sites in the world have been blocked by Russia's media 
regulator, a decision which has apparently prompted uproar on the country's 
social media.

Weirder yet, Roskomnadzor, the body that enacted the bans (whose name 
translated into English is the Federal Service for Supervision of 
Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media), has been actively 
engaged in sassing members of the Russian public who complain.

The regulator dropped the banhammer on Tuesday, applying rules which had 
previously been imposed by two separate regional courts. Any Russian citizen 
visiting PornHub or YouPorn is now redirected to a simple message telling them 
that the sites have been blocked "by decision of public authorities."

Sexually explicit material isn't illegal in the country, but according to the 
BBC's Vitaliy Shevchenko, the law confusingly appears to ban "the illegal 
production, dissemination, and advertisement of pornographic materials and 

In a now infamous post, Roskomnadzor quoted itself in reply to frustrated porn 
fans, retweeting what it said during a previous round of bans in 2015: "Dear 
Lyolya, as an alternative you could try and meet someone in real life." And in 
its retweet this week, it added: "Dear lovers of the Internet, this piece of 
advice still stands."

This much-mocked tweet apparently attracted a reply from the original Lyolya, 
who asked why the watchdog hadn't “come up with something new.” Undeterred, 
Roskomnadzor asked him whether it was possible "to enter the same river twice."

The Russian government routinely censors chunks of the Web; Roskomnadzor 
maintains a blacklist that numbers in the thousands, encompassing sites banned 
for breaching child protection laws and the country's vague extremism 
provisions. Sites which criticise the Vladimir Putin administration have been 
shut down, and at one point the country was denied access to Wikipedia.

For its part, Pornhub has a savvy social media operation of its own, and has 
made a novel attempt to circumvent the ban:

It later told users that hadn't been blocked.

This post originated on Ars Technica UK
It's better to burn out than fade away.

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