Russian Backlash Against Facebook’s Rainbow Flag

Rainbow coloured Facebook profile picture of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (left)

Last week, Facebook published a pro-LGBT app that allows users to overlay a transparent rainbow flag over their profile image was introduced on the popular social media site. The rainbow filter was introduced last week after the US Supreme Court’s landmark decision that cleared the way for same sex marriage throughout the US.

A Russian nationalist filtered image from http://flagga.ru/

A Russian nationalist filtered image from http://flagga.ru/

As of Monday, over 26 million Facebook users had applied the rainbow filter to their profile images.

However, according to reports, the pro-LGBT app has caused a serious backlash in Russia where filters have been created that apply  the colours of Russia’s national flags rather than rainbow banners across a picture. The BBC reports that one such app has been downloaded more than 4,000 times. “Our response to the rainbow world ‪#‏Proudtoberussian,” wrote Moscow resident Elena Starkova on Facebook.

russianresponseRussia has strictly enforced anti-LGBT laws which ban providing information about homosexuality to people under age 18. Pride parades in Moscow and St. Petersburg have been banned and LGBT activists are frequently targeted for harassment and arrest by Russian authorities.

Oleg Chulakov, is a Russian art director who created an app after he claimed that thousands of his friends requested an app to alter their profile images with the Russian flag.

Mashable’s, quoted a Russian social media user, Anya Enikeeva, who wrote on VK.com that “Russia, as the country does not tolerate fa[gg]ots, launched a response — more and more users have changed the color of their avatars to the Russian tricolor”.

 

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