Russian Hook-Up Hacked, Users Threatened
1. Dmitry Tsyvinski, founder and CEO of Russia’s most popular gay hook-up app, Hunters, claims Hunters was hacked by people working in the interest of the Russian government. In a press release sent to Out, Tsyvinski says that on February 1 at 11:52 PM, a message reading, “You will be arrested and jailed for gay propaganda in Sochi according to Russian Federal Law #135 Sektion 6” was sent to users through out Russia. 72,000 profiles have been deleted—most presumably by the hackers not the users—and the app is completely blocked in Sochi, site of the upcoming Olympics. On February 2, according to the same press release, users trying to access the app were told that their profiles would be blocked for 55,000 minutes (roughly 38 days). Tsyvinski believes that Russia is copying Turkey’s actions towards gay social media sites, as Turkey has banned popular hook-up app Grindr since September of last year. Below is a screen shot of one of the hacked accounts.
2. With the 2014 Sochi Olympics Opening Ceremony only 4 days away and the town of Sochi nowhere near ready for the games, Gizmodo wonders “Can Sochi Get Its Shit Together?”
3. Legendary punk rockers Blondie will receive the NME’s Godlike Genius Award at London’s O2 Academy on Wednesday February 26. Blondie’s frontwoman, Debbie Harry, told the NME, “It’s great you know. It’s out of proportion, but it’s nice to be recognized. It’s outstanding, really.”
4. A new study finds that steroid use is much higher among gay and bisexual boys than among heterosexual boys. 21% percent of boys who identify as gay or bisexual admitted to using steroids, while only 4% of straight boys did. [h/t Buzzfeed]
5. According to Jezebel, Anna Wintour has finally relented and agreed to put Kim Kardashian in Vogue. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to have to find my ice skates because it looks like Hell’s frozen over.
6. One of Ireland’s most famous drag queens, Panti Bliss made an impassioned speech about homophobia at Ireland’s national theater, the Abbey. One month ago, Panti, aka Rory O’Neill, was interviewed on a talk show on RTE, Ireland’s state television network. After he called some anti same-sex marriage campaigners “homophobes,” they responded by threatening RTE and O’Neill with legal action for defamation of character. RTE responded by issuing an apology and paying out over €80,000 (roughly $107,850) to the Iona Institute, a Catholic lobbying group. Watch Bliss’s powerful speech below.