The self-censoring of the gay pride watch face on the Apple Watch is a shocking discovery considering how big a supporter Apple is of LGBTQ rights. Yet iOS developer Guilherme Rambo found evidence that the pride Apple Watch face is “hardcoded to not show up if the paired iPhone is using the Russian locale.”
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
The Verge has also tested this and found that once an iPhone running the latest iOS 12 beta is switched to the Russian locale “the pride watch face simply disappears.”
— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) August 31, 2018
Russia has passed strict “gay propaganda” laws since 2013, making actions like supporting LGBTQ rights punishable by jail time. Though Apple must comply with the laws of a country if it wants to operate there, the removal of the pride watch face is a disappointing one nonetheless.