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Russia blocks Pornhub and ten other adult sites

Communications watchdog says popular adult site violated laws on porn distribution and child protection

Russia blocked access to Pornhub and 10 other adult websites this week, after a regional court ruled that they violated laws on porn distribution. Roskomnadzor, Russia's communications watchdog, announced the ban Monday with a Russian-language statement on its website, and news site Lenta.ru later reported that PornHub was included on the list, citing a copy of the order. According to The Moscow Times, Pornhub's Russian site was unavailable on Tuesday, with its homepage displaying a message that said the site was blocked for hosting illegal content.

The ban was issued after a court in Krasnodar ruled that Pornhub and the other ten sites violated Russian laws on protecting children from "harmful information," and that the sites illegally produced and distributed pornography. The specific content that triggered the ban remains unclear.

It's not clear what triggered the ban

"We can confirm that Roskomnadzor has blacklisted Pornhub in Russia and we are currently investigating and considering available means to reinstate our website in Russia," a Pornhub spokesperson said in an email statement.

Russian authorities regularly censor content on websites and social networks, and have cracked down on internet porn in the past. In April, Roskomnadzor announced plans to block 136 adult sites, including the Russian version of xHamster, though its list did not include Pornhub, one of the world's most visited websites.

More recently, Russian regulators have targeted major sites like Reddit and Wikipedia. In August, the country blocked access to Reddit over a thread about growing psychedelic mushrooms, and later blacklisted Wikipedia over a page about a form of cannabis. Both bans were eventually lifted after the pages were edited to meet Roskomnadzor's demands.

This article has been updated to include a statement from Pornhub.