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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 objects.”

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:

.@roscomnadzor if we give you guys a Pornhub Premium account, will you un ban Pornhub in Russia?
— Pornhub ARIA (@Pornhub) September 14, 2016

It later told users that pornhub.ru hadn’t been blocked.
This post originated on Ars Technica UK
Listing image by hansol

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