Facebook could be banned in Russia over synthetic drug ads

Facebook could soon be inaccessible in Russia.

Russia’s media watchdog announced today that Facebook could be blacklisted in the country, over ads depicting smoking blends which induce drug related effects.

The country’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media has cautioned the global social media site, saying it would not hesitate to censor if it finds evidence that the illegal ads did appear on the website. 

Deputy head of media watchdog Andrey Kashevarov says Facebook may have violated Russia's strict advertising laws.

“If we find violations in the advertising law, then we will open up an investigation. In case narcotics are involved, then we will forward all the materials to the Federal Service for Drug Control.” 

The ads allegedly redirected users to a wholesale site, where users could find blends marketed under the names “AM-HI-CO, Dream, Spice (Gold, Diamond), Zoom, Ex-ses, Yucatan Fire” and others. Some of the drugs, which may produce similar effects to that of marijuana, have been declared to contain Salvia divinorum. 

It is not all over for the Californian based company, as officials say it still has a chance to redeem itself if they fully cooperate with authorities. 

“If Facebook does not respond then [the media watchdog] will have a reason to put the company’s website on the list of banned sites [in Russia],” representative of the agency Vladimir Pikov said. 

The move comes only a few months after Russia withdrew its threat to ban Facebook over a similar incident which involved a page on suicide. Facebook Russia says the company is making efforts to remove the ads, and reminds users that they can toggle unwanted ads by clicking on the X in the upper right corner. 

Source: RT | Image: BGR

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16 Comments

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Short sum up

1. Facebook said ad appeared as a result of technical failure and will be removed.
2. Roskomnadzor did not receive any complaints on this yet.

Yet it's quite obvious that Facebook and especially Google have almost no ad premoderation. There are tones of malware, swindlers and sexual services over Google Ads.

coth said,
Short sum up

1. Facebook said ad appeared as a result of technical failure and will be removed.
2. Roskomnadzor did not receive any complaints on this yet.

Yet it's quite obvious that Facebook and especially Google have almost no ad premoderation. There are tones of malware, swindlers and sexual services over Google Ads.

I doubt it is a technical failure because I see the same sorts of scams being advertised via Facebook and Facebook never refusing to accept money from websites that are in the business of scamming people. I think the easiest solution would be to sue the likes of Google and Facebook for allowing scammers to advertise on their website.

Not sure if they're going too far with it, they might block the ads or something, but Salvia is not exactly categorized as a narcotic although it acts in one of the receptors (K), but that's pretty much it. The effects of salvia are also not really related to marijuana, they are much short lived although a lot intensive.

MidnightDevil said,
Not sure if they're going too far with it, they might block the ads or something, but Salvia is not exactly categorized as a narcotic although it acts in one of the receptors (K), but that's pretty much it. The effects of salvia are also not really related to marijuana, they are much short lived although a lot intensive.

I will list out many "top" drugs which are widely used in US and legal, and the are completely banned in India. It's not that they have some problem, one drug can't fit for all. The living conditions are differ and so may other things. So Russia has it's own rights to do.

Of course they do, they can even follow the example of the great wall of china for all I care, just giving a neutral opinion about the drug itself and my own about the ban (I wanted to say facebook shouldn't be blocked because of some ads, the should block and filter the ads instead). My bad.

MidnightDevil said,
Not sure if they're going too far with it, they might block the ads or something, but Salvia is not exactly categorized as a narcotic although it acts in one of the receptors (K), but that's pretty much it. The effects of salvia are also not really related to marijuana, they are much short lived although a lot intensive.

They might contain salvia, but they also contain other things like MDPV and whatnot.