Russian censors tell ‘Meduza’ to redact article on drug use
Roskomnadzor, Russia’s media regulation and censorship agency, has demanded that Meduza delete what the agency calls “prohibited information” from an explainer highlighting basic information about drug use and addiction. Meduza’s website as a whole is listed in Roskomnadzor’s registry of prohibited information, but access to the website is not currently limited in Russia.
In a letter to Meduza’s editorial board, Roskomnadzor indicated that it had located “prohibited information” in five of the article’s subheadings. Those subheadings, according to police experts, included information “intended to cause the target audience to form a positive impression of individuals who produce, process, and use narcotic substances.” The language in question can be translated as follows:
- Are drugs worse than alcohol? Actually, no.
- Does using drugs once make you addicted? Actually, no.
- Do people who start with pot end up on heroin? Not necessarily.
- Do drugs make you stupid? Not always.
- Do drug users always get HIV? Actually, no.
Roskomnadzor did not find fault with the following subheadings:
- Does drug use cause theft? In some cases, maybe.
- Is it true that you can never get rid of addiction completely, and you can relapse even if you’re “clean”? Yes, but treatment is still necessary.
- If you tie a heroin addict to their bed, will they stop using? Actually, no.