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Home / Technology / Apple blocks its Gay Pride dial in Russia

Apple blocks its Gay Pride dial in Russia



Apple first introduced its pride in the Apple Watch during the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Inspired by the rainbow flag, it was designed to celebrate Gay Pride and stand against discrimination against LGBTQ people. While Apple regularly praises its "unwavering commitment to equality and diversity" in highly-produced gay pride videos, the company has its limitations. iOS Developer Guilherme Rambo has discovered that the proud Apple Watch face is "hard-coded to not indicate when the paired iPhone uses the Russian locale."

Reddit users and Apple Support Forum users have faced the lack of a pride watch face in Russia over the last few months. The Verge tested this on an iPhone running the latest beta version of iOS 1

2, and the Stolwatch face just disappears as you move to the Russian locale.

Russia is implementing a 2013 "Gay Propaganda" law ratified by the European Court of Human Rights, increasing prejudice and promoting homophobia. The law comes with the threat of imprisonment and fines for what Russia considers insulting speech. Apple seems to avoid this particular legal dilemma. Apple sells a special Apple Watch bracelet, which donates part of the proceeds to LGBTQ advocacy groups. But it does not sell it in Russia either.

Google targeted Russia's anti-gay laws with a Rainbow Olympics home page during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The Google homepage, including the Russian version, has been changed to a rainbow-inspired Google Doodle and the Olympic Charter, which challenges the Olympic spirit of any discrimination against any particular sport.

We turned to Apple to comment on its pride Apple Watch face and we'll keep you up to date.


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