One man in Russia made a tool to counter Facebook's rainbow filter

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Tuesday 30 June 2015 13:30
news

People around the world celebrated when the US legalised gay marriage last week in a move that shows the global attitude to gay rights is slowly but surely changing.

Millions of people used a filter on Facebook which gives profile pictures a rainbow-flag-style tint to show their support - but the filter also caused a backlash amongst conservative users in Russia, who opted to display their national pride instead.

Поддался всеобщему празднику любви.

Posted by Олег Чулаков on Saturday, 27 June 2015
Oleg Chulakov

After seeing the popularity of the rainbow filter graphic designer Oleg Chulakov, pictured above, created a Photoshop tool to add the colours of the Russian flag to users' pictures. After it was downloaded 5,000 times Chulakov decided to turn it into a web app.

According to Buzzfeed Chulakov says that the patriotic idea is not anti-gay. However, many people on social media with the new Russian flag pictures have tagged them as "#pridetobestraight' and '#proudtobeRussian" in both Russian and English.

Extending gay rights does not have mainstream support in Russia, which in 2013 passed a law criminalising "gay propaganda". Many members of the LGBT community are targeted for hate crimes and protests and demonstrations are frequently met with violence and detention.

One politician in St Petersburg has asked the Russian internet watchdog to ban Facebook for violating the "gay propaganda" law with the rainbow filter.

In a move that echoes Chulakov's idea, last year Russian men took to social media posting photos of themselves shaving off their facial hair in a none-too-coherent protest after Eurovision was won by Conchita Wurst, a bearded cross-dressing contestant from Austria.

More: What happens when you vow to boycott pro-gay marriage brands

More: The 20 most awesome reactions to gay marriage in the US

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