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Russia bans photos of Putin depicted as a gay clown

Russia has added a picture showing President Vladimir Putin as a gay clown to its banned list for ‘extremism.’


Nidia Cavazos


Russia has added a picture depicting President Vladimir Putin as a gay clown to its banned list for “extremism.” It’s thus illegal to share such photos on Russian social media.

But Russian news outlets are unclear as to which specific image the government is referring to, because so many Putin-gay-clown memes rose on the internet after Russia attacked sexual liberties and online speech in recent years.

This particular image became popular in 2013 when gay rights protesters were arrested after Russia banned “propaganda” featuring non-heterosexual sexual relations.

Dmitry Peskov, Russia’s presidential press secretary, assured that Putin is “resilient” to such vulgarities, however personal they may be.

“As a person, he might be stung, but as president he is quite resilient to these vulgarities and has learned to brush them off long ago,” Peskov told Russian media on Wednesday.

Russia first passed its “internet extremism” laws in 2013 shortly after Putin resumed his presidency following the 2012 election, and began cracking down on civil rights. Prison sentences were dished out even to those who liked and shared banned online posts.

It remains illegal to misrepresent Russian public figures, and these figures have the right to file court complaints if they’re upset about memes.

H/T Washington Post

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