news

Apple blocks its Pride-themed watch face in Russia

Apple has been criticised for censoring their Pride watch face in Russia.

2018-09-01

Tech giant Apple has blocked its Rainbow Pride Watch face from displaying in Russia, according to new reports. 

The brand released a rainbow-theme Pride Watch face for Apple Watch users in May 2018 alongside the release of their Pride Edition watch strap, Cult of Mac reports

However, it's been revealed this week that Apple hardcoded a restriction into the watch face so that any user who selects their region as Russia would have the option disabled, even if they haven't actually been to the country. 

iOS developer Guilherme Rambo confirmed the news in a tweet, writing: "The Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to now show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale." 

News website The Verge demonstrated Apple's censorship in a video, showing how the option disappears from the Watch menu after the user changes their region to Russia. 

According to reports, Apple removed the watch face in Russia to comply with the country's 2013 gay propaganda law which bans the "promotion of non-traditional sexual relations to minors". However, the law has been exploited to stamp down on LGBT rights and censor any mention of LGBT issues. 

Meanwhile, the physical Pride Edition Apple Watch strap has been removed from sale in the country.