China’s Sina Weibo’s on Monday reversed a decision to remove gay content after outcry among gay Chinese who say the company had smeared homosexuality by lumping it with pornography as it tried to meet government censorship directives.
China’s Twitter-equivalent Weibo said on Friday it would remove pornographic, violent or gay videos and cartoons in a three-month campaign, singling out a genre of manga animations and comics that often depict raunchy gay male relationships.
In response, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) advocates poured online to criticise the decision using hashtags, open letters and even calls to dump Sina shares. On Monday, Sina said the clean-up would no longer target gay content.
The BBC reports:
Over the weekend many in the LGBT community took to the network to protest against the decision, using hashtags such as #IAmGay. Some tried testing the ban and uploaded pictures of themselves with partners or gay friends or relatives.
Among them was LGBT rights activist Pu Chunmei, whose impassioned post accompanied with pictures of her with her gay son quickly went viral. “My son and I love our country… we are proud to be Chinese!” she said. “But today I saw the announcement by Sina Weibo…as a source of news, it is discriminating and attacking minorities, and this is violence!”
Weibo has 350 million users, slightly more than Twitter.