Culture&Arts

Chinese social media giant backtracks from gay content ban

Chinese social media giant backtracks from gay content ban

Weibo - comparable to Twitter - has 392 million active monthly users, and a three-month campaign is now underway to help create what the company describes as a "clean and harmonious community environment" in accordance with China's "laws and regulations such as the Cyber Security Law".

On Friday, Sina Weibo - a microblogging platform with almost 400 million active users, often described as China's Twitter - announced a "clean-up campaign" that would be removing "illegal" content, including "manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence, or (related to) homosexuality". The posting was viewed almost 6.5 million times.

New York Times quoted a local Chinese newspaper The People's Daily which carried an article saying that being gay or bisexual was "not a disease" but it added that gay people needed to "take on their own social responsibilities while advocating their rights".

"Everyone is unique and sexuality is just one side of us that differs, just like skin color, height and weight", the essay said.

China no longer considers homosexuality as...

"I feel totally surprised and touched", Hua Zile, the page's founder told CNN on Monday in response to the rule reversal.

One user wrote "We comment on the Internet, everywhere, against the announcement". "In the 48 hours, thanks to you".




The Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo, which announced Friday that it would censor "images, videos, text, and cartoons that were related to pornography, violence, or homosexuality", has reversed its decision amid an outline outcry that sparked the hashtag "I am gay", according to the BBC.

LGBT rights activist Pu Chunmei wrote in a viral post accompanied by a picture of her with her son.

Weibo's content ban is the latest attempt by the Chinese government to purge the internet of content it alleges deviates from socialism's "core values" or criticizes the country's established policies.

Xiao Tie said the homosexuality ban was a result of over-cautiousness in the absence of specific information from authorities on what kind of content should be censored.

"The main concern for me is that, because China is very big, and places outside big cities are quite conservative, there are lots of gay people who only learn about their sexuality online", Hao said. Gay love and LGBT culture have always been sensitive issues and constant censorship topics in the state's online crackdown.

China has a mixed track record with gay themes in cultural products.

But after a two-year delay, Chinese theaters on Friday finally released "Seek McCartney", a film about a secret homosexual romance between Chinese and French lovers that has been hailed as the country's first gay movie.


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