A Russian website that encourages people in Chechnya, a republic known for being anti-queer, to expose and hunt down LGBTQ people has been taken down, for now.
The website that held personal information of queer folks acted as a database with branded themes inspired by the movie Saw. The site promoted an event called “Chechnya Comeback,” and started in 2017 as a way to call out men who were suspected of being gay.
As a way of profiteering off of the hateful database, the website would allow people to search a name for $3, and if an individual found their name and wanted it to be removed, the site would then charge $25. Information such as name and home address were among the personal data that was kept on record.
It was originally the Russian LGBT Network that reported the removal of the website, and while it is unknown how many attacks were carried out due to the information that was available online, it also remains unclear as to who exactly the admins of the site were.
“What is frightening to us [is] that this has structure; it has a system. It’s the first time we have seen an organized approach to homophobic violence, it’s very dangerous,” victim Misha Tumasov told the Gay Star News earlier this month.
While the removal of the website does not ensure that something in its likeness won’t resurface, at least folks in the anti-queer region can rest a little easier for a while.