China Social Media Site Reverses Gay Decision

After outcry, Weibo won't censor videos with homosexual subject matter after all
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2018 10:05 AM CDT
People take part in a "Rainbow Marathon," organized months earlagoier, to raise awareness of LGBT issues in Nanjing in eastern China's Jiangsu province on April 15, 2008.   (Jiangsu Tongtian Volunteer Group via AP)
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(Newser) – One of China's top social networking sites announced Monday that it will no longer be censoring content related to gay issues after the plan triggered a loud public outcry. Weibo.com was flooded over the weekend with the hashtags "#I'mGay" and "#I'mGayNotaPervert" after the Twitter-like platform said that cartoons and short videos with pornographic, violent, or gay subject matter would be investigated over a three-month period. The microblogging site, which saw its Nasdaq shares fall on Friday, said in its amended post: "This clean-up of games and cartoons will no longer target gay content," per the AP.

The investigation will instead "primarily focus on pornographic and violent material," Weibo's statement said. "Thank you everyone for your discussions and suggestions." The company previously said that it was acting in accordance with China's cybersecurity laws. The Cyberspace Administration of China, the country's internet regulator, did not immediately comment. While homosexuality is not illegal in China and few Chinese have religious objections to it, a traditional, conservative preference for conventional marriage and childbearing creates barriers for LGBT people. Following Weibo's initial announcement Friday, more than a million users have viewed hashtags in support of LGBT rights, with many sharing their own experiences as an LGBT person or a parent of one.


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