Russia tightens gay website crackdown and bans HIV health website

Russia’s media regulator is shutting down a HIV health website as it continues to target LGBT+ websites in a media censorship crackdown.

The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, known as Roskomnadzor, has ruled that LGBT+ portal and health website Parni PLUS (Guys Plus) can no longer run as it “promotes unconventional sexual relations.”

In a notice issued to the website, the media regulator said that the website violated Russia’s gay propaganda law, as it “contains information that challenges family values ​​that promote unconventional sexual relations,” reported Gay Star News.


An activist of Vesna (Spring) youth movement protest against the blocking of the popular messaging app Telegram in Russia, after it refused to give state security services access to private conversations. (OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty)

Although the website will be able to appeal to decision, the scope to save the domain doesn’t look bright.

Russia’s longest-running LGBT+ website,, was also recently shut down by Roskomnadzor in the crackdown on LGBT+ content.

However, the state’s censorship chokehold is increasing its grip on all Russian modes of communication.

Telegram, which is known as the Russian version of WhatsApp, has been shut down by the regulator as it could not access users’ encrypted messages.

In response, users trolled the media regulator’s headquarters by reclassifying it as a closed down gay bar on Google Maps.



The ever-increasing hostility towards gay, lesbian, bi and trans Russians since the introduction of the 2013 gay propaganda law is putting queer Russians’ wellbeing and lives at risk.

However, there is one recent website which slipped through the watchful eye of Roskomnadzor – a website which incites members of the public to report and torture gay Russians.


Website Saw

Known as ‘Saw’ in English and styled on the horror film, the website is asking users to target Russians in different geographical areas each day of May to bring about “Chechnya’s comeback,” a purge of gay people that saw at least 200 LGBT+ people held in prison and tortured.

Although websites like this have appeared on the dark web before, this is the first time a website like it has been available as an open domain.

Roskomnadzor have since shut the website, but iterations of its messaging are appearing on VKontakte (VK), which is Russia’s version of Facebook.