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Russia’s Internet watchdog blocks more than 200 pages of ‘sex change and gay sex are cool’ website since December

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Internet watchdog, has blocked 216 pages on the website whose address translates from Russian into “sex change and gay sex are cool” (smena-pola-i-gay-sex-eto-kruto.rashka.net) since the beginning of December, Igor Kochetkov, one of the founders of the Russian LGBT-network, noticed.

Yesterday, Vedomosti wrote that the watchdog banned 306 websites containing LGBT topics since early December when Russia enacted a law that completely bans any mention of LGBT and queer people which is deemed by Russian authorities as “propaganda”.

According to Kochetkov, Roskomnadzor did not block websites as a whole, opting to restrict access to certain pages on them instead.

“Around 200 (216 according to my calculations) out of these 306 pages were on the same site. The site is called, you won’t believe it, https://smena-pola-i-gay-sex-eto-kruto.rashka.net (“sex change and gay sex are cool”). It is clear that a website with this name could only be created specifically to violate laws,” the activist wrote.

He noted that the texts published on the website “have no education or human rights value in them and were possibly generated by a neural network”.

Kochetkov also discovered that the rashka.net domain was registered on 17 December 2022. Courts across Russia started issuing orders to block it shortly after.

“I personally keep thinking that the website was created by someone who needed to quickly report back about large-scale blocks,” Kochetkov added.

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