Time reports that Russia’s state media watchdog thinks Facebook’s gay-themed emojis violate Russian laws prohibiting the promotion of homosexuality.
Mikhail Marchenko, a senior in the country’s house of parliament, began the dispute after noticing the cartoon smileys.
Part of his written appeal to The Federal Service For Supervision of Communication, Information Technology and Mass Media, claims “emojis of non-traditional sexual orientation are seen by all users of the social network, a large portion of whom are minors. But propaganda of homosexuality is banned under the laws and under the pillars of tradition that exist here in our country.”
Denis Davydov, chairman of the Young Guard — the youth wing of Putin’s United Russian Party — said psychologists would be called in to decide “whether there is propaganda or no propaganda.”