Facebook’s new icons, Russia’s reaction

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By Zack Jenkins

Facebook continues to progress on behalf of LGBT users with its most recent update changing the relationship settings to include same-sex marriages as equal partners with appropriate marriage icons. 

In 2011 the social network also added “in a civil union” and “in a domestic partnership” to the list of relationship statuses that already included “single” and “it’s complicated.” The company headquarters flew a rainbow flag during gay pride and has formed a task force with LGBT activist groups to address sensitive issues.

Though a simple icon change may not seem like much, many within the LGBT community view this as another step social networks are making in the tech field to increasingly diversify and embrace the straight and gay users they host.

But there are still some areas where Facebook has chosen to resist additional updates, such as the addition of a third gender classification instead of just “male” or “female.”

The marriage of Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, to long-time boyfriend Sean Eldridge a few weeks ago was among the first same-sex marriages recognized via the icons. 

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) recognized the social media site for being a pioneer in notable LGBT user inclusion in the tech arena as well as other areas such as anti-bullying (LGBT and otherwise) as well as cyber security.

Russian Orthodox activists are offended by the new icons, and want Facebook banned from the country. 

According to Mashable.com, the group claims the icons are “gay propaganda,” and have told Facebook to stop “flirting with sodomites.”

The activists have also threatend to sue Internet service providers in Russia who provide access to Facebook. 

 

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