Gay content banned on Sina Weibo

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/4/14 11:57:32

Gay-themed contents were removed or blocked Friday on Sina Weibo, a China social media giant, as part of a campaign to purify the online environment and it has triggered a firestorm of discussion online.

The main targets included pornographic, violent or gay-themed cartoons, pictures, videos and articles, as well as such contents as “slash, gay, boys love and gay fictional stories,” according to a notice posted by the official administration account of Sina Weibo, the Chinese twitter-like platform with more than 392 million monthly active users.

The campaign, that will last three months, is intended to “further make a clean and harmonious community environment” and is “according to laws and regulations such as the Cyber security Law,” Sina said. 

Earlier Friday, Marvel fans had found that some hashtag topics related to popular fictional “gay couples” in the cartoon and film universe have been blocked, including “Thorki,” and “Stucky,” which stand for “Thor/Loki” and “Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes” respectively. 

Many fans tend to believe that certain characters, usually the same sex, in some movies, TV series or cartoons have intimate relationships and create “fan fictions” or “fan arts” about the “couples.”

Topics in Weibo resemble forums on which users can post related contents.

The Voice of Gay, a public benefit magazine with 220,000 followers on Weibo, announced it would suspend its work “due to force majeure factors” six hours after Sina posted the notice.

The notice had been reposted more than 90,000 times with over 20,000 comments at 2:00 a.m. Saturday. However, the number of reposts has been hidden and the comment function has been closed as of press time.

Under the same campaign, the website will also remove “illegal games and related pictures and videos with violent contents, such as series of Grand Theft Auto, Mercenaries and Mafia.”

By 18:55 Friday, the website announced that it had “cleared up 56,243 pieces of unregulated posts, and closed up 108 severely unregulated accounts and 62 topics.”

Sina Weibo said on Wednesday that in March it deleted more than 1.3 million posts and closed about 85,000 accounts that violated the law.

The Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court in January accepted the case brought by Fan Chunlin, a filmmaker, which is demanding that China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), China's top media regulator to justify the listing of homosexual relations as "abnormal."

The regulation released in June 2017 by the China Netcasting Service Association, a non-government organization administered by SAPPRFT bans service providers from releasing programs that "present abnormal sexual relations or behavior," such as incest, homosexual relations, sexual harassment and sexual violence.


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