Apple under investigation in Russia for same-sex emoji – reports

28 Sep 2015

iOS emoji keyboard

Apple is apparently under investigation by Russian authorities after an attorney challenged the inclusion of same-sex couple emoji on iOS 8.3, according to reports in the country.

Gazeta has published what it says are documents relating to the case, with Apple potentially falling foul of a controversial two-year-old law that bans the public display of numerous LGBT symbols.

A local attorney seems to have complained that Apple was violating the law, which means authorities have to take a look.

Speaking to, Yaroslav Mikhailov said law enforcement in the region of Kirov has determined that there’s evidence to launch a formal investigation.

“My appeal was forwarded to the police of the Kirov region. As far as I know, a check was conducted by the Department ‘K’, which deals with crimes in the field of information technologies,” he said, it was reported on RT.

“The police concluded that my complaint was justified and opened a case on an administrative offence.”

This is weird on many counts, one being the fact that Apple can’t take credit for most of the emoji it includes, the Unicode Consortium is behind how they are chosen and approved.

Back in March, Apple floated its latest emoji suite, with both skin tone modifiers and same-sex couples.

This was a popular move over a year in the making, with the company’s original push to diversify its emoji characters way back in early 2014.

“There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard,” explained an Apple spokesperson at the time.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic