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


The tag "I am gay" was viewed almost 300 million times on Weibo before being censored on Saturday.

Many net users have interpreted the reversal of Weibo's gay content ban as a victory. Caixin reported Monday that the service said it will not target homosexual topics during its "content clearance" bid.

"Manya Koetse, who runs the social media monitor What's on Weibo, says "#I am a homosexual" is the most meaningful hashtag she has seen on Chinese social media in a long time.

Sina said the campaign is to ensure that the company is in line with online content regulations released in June previous year that lump homosexuality in with sexual abuse and violence as constituting "abnormal sexual relationships".

Hours later, the "I Am Gay" hashtag went viral on the social media site in open protest of the new guidelines.

Following Sina Weibo's announcement, a popular Weibo page called "The Gay Voice" told its 230,000 followers it would cease operations, which in turn sparked a backlash to the new policy.

According to a 2016 United Nations survey titled "A National Survey on Social Attitudes towards Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression (SOGIE)", just 15 percent of China's LGBT community have come out to their parents, while only 5 percent are publicly gay.

Others pointed out homosexuality was decriminalised in 1997 and in 2001 removed from the government's list of mental disorders, the Guardian reported.

"Seven years ago, not that many people were willing to make their voices heard this way", he added.

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It also thanked the public for "discussions and suggestions".

Hua said a Weibo manager told him to stop posting while the "cleanup" was to take place.

Sina said its targets included pornographic, violent or gay-themed cartoons, pictures, videos and articles, as well as such content as "slash, gay, boys love and gay fictional stories". "It's unbelievable to see this happen now, with everyone - straight or gay, celebrities or ordinary people - using the hashtag and joining in".

The Twitter-like site provoked outrage when it said it would investigate cartoons and videos with "gay subject matter". Numerous posts included photos of couples and rainbow emojis.

Chinese micro blogging site Sina Weibo.

On Sunday, the People's Daily, an official Communist Party newspaper, encouraged tolerance toward gay people.

The Hong Kong Free Press notes that a large online community called the "funu", or "deviant girls", described as "heterosexual women who are avid fans of male gay romances", was also instrumental in the pushback.

Last week the Chinese government has ordered the closure of Neihan Duanzi, a parody platform in which user generated content was shared.