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Apple’s Pride Watch Face Blocked in Russia: REPORT

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A developer has discovered that Apple’s rainbow Watch face, which it launched to celebrate gay pride, has been blocked in Russia.

9to5Mac‘s Guilherme Rambo revealed that it’s “hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale,” in a tweet showing the code on Friday.

The Verge has also tested this and found that once an iPhone running the latest iOS 12 beta is switched to the Russian locale “the pride watch face simply disappears.”

According to Rambo, the feature is “hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.” Basically, if your iPhone’s region is set as Russia from the settings menu, and said iPhone is synced up to an Apple Watch, the latter’s face gallery will simply not display the Pride option.

The Russian government has attracted widespread condemnation over legislation signed by Vladimir Putin in 2013 that bans the so-called “propaganda” of homosexuality in any setting where children could be present. In practice, the law has been used to restrict public discussion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues and to block protests.

Russia maintains a law banning the “promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” though human rights watchdogs say that in reality the law has been exploited by authorities to clamp down on LGBT+ rights organising and censor any mention of LGBT+ issues.

In June, Apple released the new Watch face to celebrate Pride. The tech giant also updated its Pride Edition Woven Nylon Watch band with a new rainbow stripe. Similar to the first version of the rainbow Watch band, Apple is donating a portion of the proceeds to a number of LGBT advocacy organizations, including The Trevor Project and The National Center for Transgender Equality.

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