Russia is Putin its foot down about gay emojis

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Apples-Emoji
Emojis are the new subliminal messaging.
Photo: Technewz

When iOS 8.3 introduced new gay-friendly emojis, one person no doubt responding with a :( sad face was Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin’s not taking it lying down, however. According to Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor, the President has requested a full pro-Kremlin group investigation and crackdown on same sex emojis, concerned that they violate the country’s ban on “gay propaganda.”

Because if there’s one thing proven to make you trade girlfriends for boyfriends, it’s someone sending you a picture of two male smiley faces holding hands.

Russia wants to stop your next selfie being your last

In Soviet Russia, some selfies take people.
In Soviet Russia, some selfies take people.
Photo: Quartz

From electrocution while trying to get the perfect background, to accidentally shooting oneself while posing with a pistol, Russian selfies seem to be pretty dangerous things — with more than 100 leading to serious injuries in the country in the pas year alone.

With that kind of track record, it’s no wonder that Russia’s police force wants to do something about it — which they’ve apparently done by issuing a brochure packed with handy graphics showing how to take selfies without risking potentially fatal injuries.

Russian minister accuses Apple of distributing gay porn to minors

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Won't someone think of the Russian children? Photo:
Here's a complaint we've not heard before about last year's U2 album giveaway. Photo: Island Records

Some people just won’t let go, will they?

Still upset about Apple’s much-maligned U2 album giveaway last year, Russian politician Alexander Starovoitov has come up with a new complaint we’ve not heard before: That by gifting Songs of Innocence to millions of iTunes customers around the world, Apple was knowingly distributing gay pornography.

If found guilty, Apple could be forced to cease operations in Russia for 90 days, or pay 1 million roubles in fines.

Did ‘bug’ cause Russian Siri to be homophobic?

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Photo: Jackee Chang / Twitter
Apple's Russian virtual assistant had some Siri-ously outdated views. Photo: Jackee Chang/Twitter

Apple’s Russian version of Siri launched earlier this month, and while the presence of the virtual assistant in Russia is certainly welcome, its early bigoted views were not.

According to one YouTube user, Siri not only refused to answer questions about gay bars but went a step further, providing downright homophobic responses. In the video, Siri supposedly claims to be embarrassed by the topic, suggesting that gay marriage is a bit of a downer.

Apple Maps error covers up sad truth about disappearing Aral Sea

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Apple's Aral Sea on left, NASA latest image on right. Photo: Cult of Mac
Apple's Aral Sea on left, NASA latest image on right. Photo: Cult of Mac

You may have never heard of the Aral Sea, even though it was the fourth largest lake in the world as recently as the 1960’s.

The once-gigantic body of water which rests on the border of Uzbekistan has shrunk to less than 10% of its former size over the last half century. It’s been dubbed one of the worst environmental disasters ever, but looking at Apple Maps you’d never even know the Russians drained the mighty lake dry, destroyed its robust fishing industry, and left behind a wasteland of salt, pollution, and toxic dust storms.