In an apparent crackdown by China’s Communist Party to denounce any and everything to do with LGBT folks, the country’s microblogging platform Sina Weibo began deleting “homosexual” content even as protesters reacted with the hashtag #IAmGay.
From Yahoo News:
Weibo said in a statement Friday it had begun a “clean-up campaign” to remove “illegal” content, including “manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality”.
It is the latest sign in a crackdown by the ruling Communist Party to purge the Internet of any content deviating from its “core values of socialism” while stifling criticism of social norms and established policies.
The popular Twitter-like platform, which boasts 400 million active monthly users, said it was implementing China’s new cybersecurity law and had already removed some 56,240 items by Friday evening.
The announcement provoked a flood of reaction from stunned or outraged Chinese Internet users, with protesters rallying behind the hashtag “I am gay”.
By midday Saturday, it had been used by some 170,l000 Weibo users, before it was apparently banned by the platform.
“There can be no homosexuality under socialism? It is unbelievable that China progresses economically and militarily but returns to the feudal era in terms of ideas,” one angry commenter said.
China only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, but conservative attitudes remain widespread.
#Gay#LGBT Yesterday，one of the biggest app in China，like the Twitter, instagram, named Weibo，issued a statment that prohibit every article, picture, comment，topic—every thing about homosexuality. How I am disappointed about our country… pic.twitter.com/MoLKHJoNRZ
— Lucy Zhang (@xLucyZhangx) April 14, 2018
The most meaningful hashtag I’ve seen around Chinese social media in a long time following announcement of ban on gay content: #IAMGAY #我是同性恋. Some say: “If this is not the time to speak out, then when will we?” https://t.co/CLMCHP4cWk
— Manya Koetse (@manyapan) April 13, 2018
Many social media users in China protested with messages saying, “I am gay, not a pervert” following a Sina Weibo ban on gay-themed content https://t.co/LEyelq2KXX
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) April 15, 2018