China does not have Twitter. Nor does it have Facebook. It has Weibo. And soon, the largest social networking website in the country will ban all gay-related content. Obviously then, the decision has left Chinese gay community absolutely fuming.
Micro-blogging website Weibo has begun a clampdown on content it broadly sees as offensive. While content with extreme violence has become prime target for the website, gay content too is taking a fall in a country which otherwise has not banned homosexuality. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) recently reported that the decision to remove gay content has not gone down too well with the LGBT community with many saying that it is a direct attack on their right to express.“I am gay and I’m proud, even if I get taken down there are tens of millions like me!,” a user reportedly wrote in a post on Weibo, according to SCMP.
It has also been reported that content deemed gay have already begun being banned. Many users reported that their posts were removed and was instead replaced with an 'illegal content' message.
The latest move to 'clean-up' what is posted online in Weibo comes at a time when Facebook - the world's largest social media company - has been facing flak for leaking user data to private firms. While China never allowed Facebook to provide services in the country, Weibo became the most preferred alternative. And Weibo is looking to leave no stone unturned in ensuring content adhere to their rules and policies even though many suspect it is on the directions of a political leadership looking for even more control on the micro-blogging site.