Russian censorship authority issues anti-LGBTQ Internet guidelines


The Russian censorship authority Roskomnadzor has developed a list of criteria for blocking online content as “LGBT propaganda.” According to the Russian news outlet Vedomosti, websites can be blocked if their content

  • presents “nontraditional sexual relations” as attractive;
  • presents non-heterosexual relationships as equally valuable for society, compared to “traditional” heterosexual relationships;
  • justifies the preference for non-heterosexual relationships;
  • attempts to convince the audience to view non-heterosexual relationships positively;
  • encourages a positive attitude to what the regulators call “sex change.”

Sites dedicated to popularizing pedophilia will also be blocked.

Vedomosti also reports that Roskomnadzor has distributed a list of films and TV series that should be banned from streaming platforms under the new Russian law prohibiting “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations and pedophilia.” The list includes “Brokeback Mountain,” “Call Me by Your Name,” and certain episodes of “The Sex Lives of College Girls” and “This Is Going to Hurt.”

On December 5, 2022, President Vladimir Putin signed a law that prohibits “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations and pedophilia.” Its critics think that “pedophilia” was specifically written into the bill to ensure that it met no resistance.

Earlier, Moscow public libraries reported receiving a government-issued list of books, recommended for “recycling.” The list included books by John Boyne, Michael Cunningham, Stephen Fry, Jean Genet, Haruki Murakami, Sarah Waters, as well as numerous Russian writers.

Some streaming platforms began to censor films ahead of any official guidelines. Amediateka, for example, has purged the word “gay” from “Sex in the City” and “The White Lotus” series.


RELATED: ‘It’s not propaganda to condemn this law’ United Russia deputy uses new anti-LGBTQ law to denounce openly gay St. Petersburg politician

In June, St. Petersburg opposition politician Sergey Troshin publicly came out as gay — a risky decision in a country that has begun vilifying LGBTQ people all the more intensely since the start of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Now, Russia’s recently expanded law against LGBTQ “propaganda” has given Troshin’s political opponents a new tool to use against him. And while Troshin told journalists he plans to keep speaking out against Moscow’s discriminatory legislation, he could face thousands of dollars in fines if the Russian Attorney General’s Office decides to act on the denunciations against him.

 

Pavel Dainyak, the head of the municipal council representing St. Petersburg’s Liteyny District, has asked Russia’s Attorney General to investigate whether council member Sergey Troshin, who publicly came out as gay this summer, violated Russia’s new law against LGBTQ “propaganda.” The independent Russian outlet Agentstvo noted that the request marks the first known case of the law being used to target a politician.

According to Agentstvo, Dainyak’s letter was written on November 29, six days before Vladimir Putin signed the anti-LGBTQ bill into law. Despite this, Dainyak cited the law in his request, claiming he received a complaint that Troshin had engaged in “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships” using “informational-telecommunications networks,” which the new law prohibits. He then asks the Attorney General’s Office to “conduct an inspection and take measures.”


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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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