Sina Weibo Reverses Decision Regarding Gay-Content Ban
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
The Chinese social media platform Sina Weibo reversed a decision on Monday to ban gay-themed content from the service, after outcry and protest from the Chinese gay community and LGBTQ advocates. Advocates said the company tried to smear homosexuality by equating it to pornography. Advocates and protestors used hashtags, wrote open letters, and called on shareholders to get rid of shares in Sina.
The People's Daily newspaper, which is an official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, on Sunday had encouraged tolerance toward gay people, but also stated that "vulgar" content must be removed, no matter the sexual orientation.
In a statement on Friday, Sina Weibo said it would remove "illegal" content including "manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality." According to The Global Times, the main targets included "pornographic, violent or gay-themed cartoons," as well as content such as "slash, gay, boys love, and gay fictional stories."
Sina Weibo said the ban was a part of a "clean-up campaign," which will also include "violent video games like Grand Theft Auto." The Global Times added Sina Weibo will also target game series like Mercenaries and Mafia. The campaign will last for three months.
Sina Weibo stated the ban was also "according to laws and regulations such as the Cyber security Law." The platform said it had already removed 56,240 items by Friday evening.
Sina Weibo states it has 400 million active monthly users.