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Expert evaluation finds no ‘gay propaganda’ in Apple's iOS emoji

Source: Izvestia

An expert evaluation conducted by the Russian government (at Apple's request) revealed that default emoji on iOS do not violate Russia's law against “propaganda of nontraditional relationships” (so-called “gay propaganda”).

The authors of the expert evaluation were researchers certified by Russian state censor Roskomnadzor, according to the newspaper Izvestia.

Emoji are small digital images or icons used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication.

Recently, emoji icons depicting same-sex families appeared in iOS.

The experts acknowledged that emoji can be used in different contexts, which can carry both “positive” and “negative” connotations. With regard to the same-sex iOS emoji, the expert evaluation found they did not promote “nontraditional relationships.”

Experts arrived at similar conclusions over emoji depicting cigarettes, alcohol, pills, and a syringe.

“The sequence in which emoji appear will change in the context of a conversation. They can be used in approval or disapproval of certain concepts or actions,” said the experts. A smiley face, therefore, cannot be attributed to propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.


The origin of the word emoji is a combination of the Japanese words for picture, pronounced “e,” with letter or character, pronounced “moji.”

Apple's Russian subdivision, Apple Rus, commissioned the expert evaluation of its emoji.

Earlier, a Moscow court threw out a case that called for Apple to acknowledge that its iOS emoji do, in fact, promote gay relationships.