Social Media // Russia
The gay dating app Hunters is blocked in Sochi, the location of this month’s Winter Olympic Games, and about 72,000 user accounts were expunged throughout Russia. “Hackers completely destroyed their profiles and all their messages,” Hunters founder Dmitry T (last name withheld at his request for security reasons) told Towleroad.
An anonymous threat that read, "You will be arrested and jailed for gay propaganda in Sochi according to Russian Federal Law #135 Sektion 6" was sent on February 1st, 2014 at 11:52 pm to all users in Russia.
On the morning of February 2nd, users trying to open the tool in Sochi were greeted with an alert saying that their profile was blocked for the next 55,000 minutes (38 days).
“I think that this attack is connected to increasing censorship of the Internet and very soon other gay dating resources in Russia will face similar problems,” Dmitry said.
His team was able to restore 24 percent of the profiles after 12 hours. The rest were unable to be recovered. “In order to protect our users from future injustice, we have started moving our servers from Russia to Europe and are planning to finish this process within the next 3-5 days,” Dmitry said. “Therefore, Hunters users may face further disruptions in the coming days.”
Now the app creator is urging the entire gay community and everyone else who considers the Web to be a free zone “to boycott not only Russian vodka but also everything that is linked to the Olympics and not to buy any Olympic souvenirs,” he said.
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