Duolingo Alters Content in Russia Under LGBT Crackdown

Duolingo has removed content related to 'non-traditional sexual relations' in Russia following warnings from Russia's communications regulator, Roskomnadzor. Despite Duolingo's support for LGBTQ+ rights, it complied with local laws to avoid promoting content labeled as 'extremism' and 'LGBT propaganda'. Russian laws have intensified crackdowns on LGBT rights.

Reuters | Updated: 05-06-2024 12:21 IST | Created: 05-06-2024 12:21 IST
Duolingo Alters Content in Russia Under LGBT Crackdown
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Language learning app Duolingo has deleted references in Russia to what Moscow calls "non-traditional sexual relations" after being warned by Russia's communications regulator about publishing LGBT content classed as "extremism".

Russia last year widened restrictions on the promotion of what it calls LGBT propaganda amid a broader crackdown on LGBT rights, which President Vladimir Putin has sought to portray as evidence of moral decay in Western countries. Roskomnadzor, Russia's communications regulator, had written to Duolingo, warning it against publishing material promoting non-traditional sexual relations and LGBT propaganda.

"We support LGBTQ+ rights and believe in normalizing LGBTQ+ representation in our content," a Duolingo spokesperson said. "Unfortunately, local laws prohibit us from including certain content in Russia. Duolingo's mission is to expand access to quality education around the world and we're committed to maintaining access to our product everywhere that is legal to do so."

Russia has designated the "LGBT movement" as extremist and those supporting it as terrorists, paving the way for serious criminal cases against LGBT people and their advocates. "The company Duolingo sent Roskomnadzor a letter in response, in which it confirmed that it had deleted materials promoting non-traditional sexual relations from its training app," Russian news agencies quoted Roskomnadzor as saying on Tuesday.

Russian courts have issued fines for those that violate its "LGBT propaganda" law, including online film distributors and executives.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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