Russia is investigating streaming platform Netflix over its LGBT content which is allegedly being made available to teens. Netflix was accused by the Russian public commissioner for protecting families of breaching the country’s “gay propaganda” law.
The law in question, enacted in 2013, bans the dissemination of “propaganda on non-traditional sexual relations” among Russians under the age of 18 when broadcasting LGBT-themed content with a 16+ label. According to local daily Vedomosti, Commissioner Olga Baranets’ complaint is being considered by the Moscow department of the Interior Ministry.
A Netflix source said that the company had recently checked its library of shows and movies in the country and found that no LGBT content was labeled as 16+. If it’s found to have violated the law, the streaming giant could face a fine of up to one million Russian Roubles (~RM56,104) or have its service temporarily suspended.
The anti-gay legislation is an extremely controversial law, and was ruled by the European Court of Human Rights to be in violation of European treaty rules and violated the right to freedom of expression. The Russian government stated that the purpose of the law is to protect children from being exposed to content that present homosexuality as being a norm in society.
Meanwhile, Russia has recently been clamping down on foreign tech companies, going so far as introducing a law that requires big social media companies to have local representatives. Vedomosti reported earlier this month that Moscow were discussing changes to how online streaming services are regulated.