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Russians troll media regulator by classifying their building as a closed-down gay bar on Google Maps

Jasmine Andersson April 23, 2018

An activist of Vesna (Spring) youth movement fills a bag with two thousand paper planes, as a symbol of Telegram, during a flash-mob near the Roskomnadzor building in Saint Petersburg on April 13, 2018, as they protest against the blocking of the popular messaging app "Telegram"in Russia, after it refused to give state security services access to private conversations.

Outraged Russians are responding to the country’s media regulator shutting down millions of websites in signature millennial fashion.

Media regulator Roskomnadzor, which has blocked over 18 million IP addresses to date, has angered Russians with a recent decision to ban instant messaging service Telegram from operating in the country.

And as a consequence, Russian citizens are embarking in some tit-for-tat technological warfare – by branding the media watchdog as a closed-down gay bar on Google Maps, reports Meduza.

In a bid to get a rise out of Roskomnadzor, Google users have rebranded the website “Roskompozor,” which translates as “Roksom disgrace,” as well as reclassifying the administration from a state institution to a gay bar.

(Meduza/Google Maps)

And considering the media regulator’s targeting of the country’s most popular LGBT+ website, Gay.ru, we can imagine that the department are not particularly happy about it.

The country’s most popular LGBT+ website, Gay.ru, has been blocked by the regulator for “disseminating information that promotes non-traditional sexual relations.”

The ban notice read the website’s administrators had 24 hours to remove unspecified “information prohibited for distribution in the Russian Federation.”

“If the hosting provider and / or the owner of the site fail to take these measures, it will be decided to include a network address that allows to identify the site on the Internet, containing information that is prohibited in the Russian Federation in the registry, and access to it by telecom operators will be limited,” warned the notice.

 

(YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty)

The founder of Telegram and supporter of LGBT+ rights Pavel Durov has also spoken out against the media regulator in hilarious fashion – by posing shirtless.

The CEO, who is likewise infuriated that the Russian version of WhatsApp has been banned, said that he has launched the #PutinShirtlessChallenge in mockery of Russia’s often topless leader, Vladimir Putin.

(Pavel Durov/Instagram)
(Pavel Durov/Instagram)

In a previous post, Durov – who moved out of Russia in 2014 – said he had to “step up the game to keep up with the increased competition from Mr. Putin’s shirtless photos.”

“If you’re Russian, you have to join #PutinShirtlessChallenge (or face oblivion). Two rules from Putin – no photoshop, no pumping. Otherwise you’re not an alpha,” he added.

More: Europe, LGBT, Pavel Durov, Russia, Russia, Telegram, Vladmir Putin

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