Chinese Social Media Site Reverses Gay Content Ban After Uproar

Internet users welcomed the change on Monday. Still, some said the company owed gay people an apology.

“which will be totally insincere,” Bai Fei, a feminist activist in Shanghai, said of the announcement. “They have already harmed us. I want them to stand up in addition to also make a public apology.”

Others called on the company to restore content which which had already deleted from the campaign, including a common Weibo account called the Gay Voice, which published cultural news in addition to also podcasts for its more than 230,000 followers.

Weibo’s vow to cut gay material prompted an unusually fierce backlash by internet users, who said the campaign could worsen discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual in addition to also transgender people in China. Still, some said they saw signs of progress from the company’s decision to change course.

Ma Baoli, the founder of Blued, a common gay dating app, called the uproar a “historic event” in China. He said Weibo’s response showed a gradual change in attitudes toward gay people.

“This particular will be a nice outcome in addition to also a very valuable chance for the public to discuss homosexuality in addition to also to eliminate discrimination,” he said.

Weibo’s “cleanup” campaign highlighted the intense pressure which media companies in China face to purge sites of content which the authorities deem offensive. Experts said the government’s vague definition of improper content often results in companies’ going to extremes to show compliance.

“The precise contours of what will be ‘vulgar’ are always very blurry,” said Severine Arsene, managing editor of AsiaGlobal Online, a digital journal at the University of Hong Kong. “This particular campaign will be following the same pattern of public space becoming more narrow in addition to also subject to conservative norms.”

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