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Apple seems to have blocked its new pride Apple Watch face in Russia, according to a bit of digging by an iOS developer.
The Apple Watch pride face, which was unveiled in June at WWDC ’18, was meant to celebrate Pride Month and to stand against LGBTQ+ discrimination — and cement Apple’s “unwavering commitment to equality and diversity.”
But the pride face simply won’t show up as an option for Russian users.
iOS developer Guilherme Rambo did a bit of code digging and discovered something interesting.
In a tweet on Thursday, Rambo wrote that “the Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.”
Basically, if you set your location to Russia, then the pride face simply disappears as an option. We can’t independently verify the authenticity of the code, but Rambo has a solid track record of accurate information.
The Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale pic.twitter.com/vEP8XquYsP
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 31, 2018
It’s worth noting that the lack of a pride face in Russia is likely meant to help keep Apple from running afoul of local regulations.
In 2013, Russia implemented what’s been called a “gay propaganda” law that carries the risk of jail time or fines for promoting “non-traditional sexual relationships” in front of minors.
That law, which has been slammed by the European Court of Human Rights and Amnesty International, essentially makes LGBTQ+ activism illegal. That includes speaking positively about LGBTQ+ rights, holding pride events, or promoting LGBTQ+ relationships in the presence of minors, Gizmodo reported.
Apple also doesn’t sell its special edition pride watch band on its online Russia storefront.
Debuted earlier this year, a portion of the proceeds from the band sales goes toward supporting various LGBTQ+ advocacy groups.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has seemingly bent its principles due to regional law.
Some groups have claimed that Apple “betrayed” its users in China. While a vanguard for privacy rights across most of the world, Apple okayed the move of Chinese iCloud user data to state-run servers to comply with newly implemented regulations.