'I Am Gay' Goes Viral After Chinese Site Weibo Censors LGBT Content

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'I Am Gay' Goes Viral After Chinese Site Weibo Censors LGBT Content

"Weibo finally withdrew its wrong decision".

But the Twitter-like platform backtracked on Monday, stating on its administrators' official account: "This clean-up of games and manga is no longer directed at homosexual content, but is primarily to clean up pornographic and bloody, violent content".

"We thank all for your discussions and suggestions", it said in a brief notice posted on its website.

Bowing to a wave of popular backlash, Chinese social media giant Sina Weibo has reversed a briefly instated ban on gay content.

The People's Daily, the official paper of the ruling Communist Party, also appeared to criticize Weibo in a Sunday editorial. He complied, and his announcement that Voice for China LGBT would be going on hiatus was shared almost 40,000 times.

"Everyone is unique and sexuality is just one side of us that differs, just like skin color, height and weight", the essay said. The new laws, introduced in June a year ago, lump homosexuality in with sexual abuse and violence as constituting "abnormal sexual relationships".

"I feel totally surprised and touched", Hua Zile, the page's founder told CNN on Monday in response to the rule reversal.

"I support Sina in clearing out pornographic content, but it definitely must not do so as before and target homosexuality - that kind of discrimination is wrong", wrote one user.

"What's transpired in the last 48 hours is enough to prove that only speaking up can bring about changes", it said. One internet user referred to article 38 of China's constitution which maintains that the "personal dignity" of Chinese citizens is "inviolable" and that insult directed against citizens is prohibited.

The platform - which has some 400 million active monthly users - said in its original Friday statement that it was merely implementing China's new cybersecurity law and had already removed some 56,240 items.

China had decriminalized homosexuality way back in 1997 and declassified it as a mental illness in 2001 but the government authorities are still curbing the practice of the same in many ways. In mainland China, inhumane and scientifically debunked tactics like "forced confinement, medication and even electric shock therapy" are still sometimes used in attempts to "convert" LGBTQ people to heterosexuality, per the Washington Post, and this practice is legal.

Many activists had harsh words for Sina Weibo, saying that its attempts to limit free speech had gone too far and that gay people were being punished because their culture was considered out of the mainstream.

China has a mixed track record with gay themes in cultural products.

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