Weibo China’s Blogging Platform Bans Homosexual Content On Its Website


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A popular microblogging platform, China’s Sina Weibo stated it would remove “homosexual” content from the web domain. This ushered a whirlwind of complaints online on Saturday, with posters posting under the hashtag “I am gay”.

Weibo made a statement announced on Friday that it had begun a “clean-up campaign” to remove “illegal” content, including “manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality”.

This is the latest move by China’s ruling Communist Party to rid the Internet of any content deviating from its “core values of socialism” and to go against criticism of social norms and established policies.

The campaign is set to happen for three months and will also tackle “violent video games, like ‘Grand Theft Auto’,” Weibo announced on its platform.

The platform, which is almost akin to Twitter, boasts 400 million active monthly users. Weibo has stated that it was implementing China’s new cybersecurity law and had already removed some 56,240 items by Friday evening.

Enraged Chinese men and women took to the internet to react posting under the hashtag “I am gay”.

By Saturday noon, it had been used by some 170,000 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.

“How is it that public opinion has narrowed so much in the last two years?” said another.

China only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, but conservative attitudes remain widespread.

“It’s simply discriminatory! Many mangas removed were not pornographic,” observed a third.

The online community of “funu” (“deviant girls”), heterosexual women who are avid fans of male gay romances and share comics or stories, was specifically upset.

Many messages protesting at the content crackdown were deleted.

Authorities closely monitor the Internet to purge any content deemed sensitive, such as political criticism or pornography, and require websites to have their own censors.

China has seen a tightening wave of censorship under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, who advocates a stronger promotion of socialist ideology in society.

One of its latest victims was Toutiao, one of China’s most popular news aggregator apps, which was punished this week for allowing users to share ribald jokes or videos and has promised to increase its censorship staff to 10,000.

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