2021-11-17 15:38:00

Website of Side by Side festival blocked for forming positive attitude toward LGBT content

Moscow, November 17, Interfax - The Federal Agency for Youth Affairs (Rosmolodyozh) has found on the website of the LGBT International Film Festival Side by Side, which is currently being held, information aimed at forming "a positive attitude to non-traditional sexual relations," for which the website has been blocked, Russia's telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor told Interfax.

"The site https://bok-o-bok.com has been blocked by Roskomnadzor on the basis of a decision made by Rosmolodyozh recognizing the information disseminated on the Internet as prohibited. According to Rosmolodyozh's decision, the site contains information aimed at forming a positive attitude toward non-traditional sexual relations and the attractiveness of non-traditional sexual relations," Roskomnadzor said.

The LGBT International Film Festival Side by Side earlier said that Roskomnadzor had blocked its site "based on complaints from far-right groups." The festival organizers insist the site blocked by the agency "is full of 18+ marks." They said that they would appeal Roskomnadzor's actions.

According to data from the universal service verifying restrictions on access to websites and (or) webpages, the site was blocked at Rosmolodyozh's demand on November 11. The register refers to Article 15.1 of the law On Information, which is devoted to keeping the register of information prohibited in Russia.

The Side by Side film festival, which looks at LGBT issues in the context of cinematography, has been held in St. Petersburg since 2008. It is being held between November 11 and November 25 in a hybrid format this year.