The Chinese government is at it again with banning gay content over the internet.
This time, the focus is on social media website/app Sina Weibo or Weibo for short, which is essentially the Twitter of China (as Twitter is also banned in the country) and has 392 million active monthly users.
In a similar act to how Craigslist is deleting Personal ads to protect itself from a new Congress bill, Weibo is deleting gay content in order to stay in the clear with Chinese law.
Through Weibo’s official account, the Community Manager shared the news that starting April 13, the site would “fulfill the corporate responsibility” and work under the Chinese Internet Security Laws. This means that gay content will now be banned on the site along with acts of violence, pornographic content, depictions of underage drinking/drug use, and more.
In order to make this happen, the company behind the social media service will closely monitor all content uploaded onto the service for the next three months. The announcement also shared that 56,243 violations were “cleared” during the time that the notice was made.
As you might expect, there was a strong opposition to this announcement. Many complained that the rules were too harsh and that Weibo accounts were being blocked and not just the content.
This is also a great problem for online content creators like comic artists, merch sellers, and filmmakers who largely market their gay content through social media like Weibo.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that China has banned/censored gay content. While homosexuality is legal and the Chinese government supposedly has a live and let live policy towards LGBTQ people, it would seem that’s only the case if they do it privately in their own corners of the country. Anything else, and LGBTQ people will be shut down with a forceful hand.
h/t: Beta News