Is Russia really going to ban Facebook over its ‘gay’ emojis?

Russia is apparently taking aim at Facebook, over its use of ‘gay’ emojis.

The social networking site is the subject of calls for an investigation into whether its use of the emojis, which feature same-sex couples, fall foul of Russia’s controversial ban on the ‘promotion of non-traditional sexual relations’.

“These emoji of non-traditional sexual orientation are seen by all users of the social network, a large portion of whom are minors,”said Senator Mikhail Marchenko in a statement.

“Propaganda of homosexuality is banned under the laws and under the pillars of tradition that exist here in our country.”

Roskomnadzor – the government group responsible for policing the Russian media – wrote a letter to pro-Kremlin youth group Young Guard of United Russia last week, requesting the group’s members investigate emojis and their use on social media.

Roskomnadzor was set up to enforce the idea that homosexuality online will impact the mental health of innocent children who scour social media – they claim it is their role to protect the country’s children “from information that’s harmful to their health and development.”

Other casualties of the law include the founder of an online LGBT forum for Russian teens, who was recently prosecuted by the government for aiding the increasingly oppressed gay community from both the government and ‘vigilante’ groups, who often operate with impunity.

Meanwhile, the politician responsible for the “gay propaganda” law recently said Facebook should be blocked in Russia over its rainbow filter option for profile pictures, released ahead of Pride.