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10 August 2015.
The Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor has said it will investigate whether “gay” emojis used by the likes of Facebook and Apple break Russian law.
In 2013, Russia made the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” illegal, meaning that depicting or saying anything positive about homosexuality or homosexuals can be punished by a 50,000 Rouble fine and even imprisonment.
Emojis depicting same-sex couples are used by Apple and Facebook, making some commentators question whether this could lead to the companies’ services being banned in the country.
Mikhail Marchenko, the Russian politician who made the complaint to Roskomnadzor, said the emojis “promoted non-traditional sexual relationships, denied family values and showed disrespect for parents and other family members”.