Today a developer revealed that the pride face on the Apple Watch is hardcoded to not appear if its paired iPhone is in Russia.
The code was discovered by Guilherme Rambo, who is known for reverse engineering Apple firmware and providing Apple leaks online.
The Apple Watch pride face is hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale pic.twitter.com/vEP8XquYsP
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) August 31, 2018
Here is a closer look at the code:
While we can’t 100% guarantee that this code is legitimate or which version of the Apple Watch it comes from, Rambo does have a pretty solid track record with his reveals so far.
At the time of writing it was unclear whether this implementation was due to Russian regulations, or if someone at Apple did this with the safety of LGBTQ+ people in mind.
In 2013 Russia created a law that banned the distribution of materials promoting LGBTQ+ relationships among minors.
The term “non-traditional sexual relationships” are used in the law and it makes it illegal to speak positively about LGBTQ+ rights, hold pride events or say that LGBTQ+ relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships in the presence of minors.
So while it doesn’t outright ban homosexuality, the fact that minors are almost everywhere guarantees the suppression of LGBTQ+ rights and freedom.
We have reached out to Apple for confirmation and comment and will update if we hear back.