Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Internet Watchdog Warns of Closure of Popular Encyclopedia

A screenshot of Russian-language online encyclopedia Lurkmore.

Russia's communications watchdog Roskomnadzor warned Tuesday that the Russian-language online encyclopedia Lurkmore will be completely blocked for failing to delete pages related to "narcotics and pedophilia."

Last weekend was the deadline for Lurkmore to delete those pages, so the watchdog will now start blocking access to them, the watchdog said in a post on Russian social network VKontakte.

Because the links contested by the Federal Drug Control Service use https in their address, Internet providers will simply block access to the site altogether, the statement said.

Lurkmore, which features thousands of articles and focuses on Internet culture including slang and memes, is one of the top 200 most popular Russian websites, according to global website analysis firm Alexa.

The site was reportedly founded in 2007 by a Russian named Dmitry Khomak. Roskomnadzor appealed to Khomak personally in its VKontakte post.

"Dear Dmitry Khomak, how has it come to this? We had worked together so well," said the post, accompanied by a photo of a cat making a pouty, regretful face.

In late 2012 the site began blocking access to certain pages related to drug use in an effort to avoid being blocked after a new law prohibited online content pertaining to drugs, suicide or child pornography, Russian media reported.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.