China’s social media site Sina Weibo is removing gay and violent content during a three-month clean-up campaign.
The platform announced the news on Friday (April 13) on its official administrator’s account, explaining that content being taken down includes pictures, cartoons and text.
As a result, #IAmGay is trending in the country, as some 170,000 users protest the decision. The announcement has been commented on more than 24,000 times and was forwarded more than 110,000 times (via Reuters).
One wrote: “I am gay and I’m proud, even if I get taken down there are tens of millions like me!” Some posts were blocked by Weibo, with a message saying that they contained “illegal content”.
Weibo said the move aims to comply with China’s new cyber security law calling for strict data surveillance. The site has so far removed 56,243 pieces of content, shut 108 user accounts and removed 62 topics considered to have violated its standards.
It comes after LGBT people in China slammed Weibo for banning LGBT content from the platform last year.
The micro-blogging platform cracked down on videos which featured same-sex couples by censoring them, following authorities in the country announcing intentions to ban LGBT content from the internet.
The regulations, which block any portrayal of “abnormal” relations between two people of the same-sex, came into play at the start of July 2017.
The ban was slapped on sexually explicit content as well as more mild depictions of same-sex couples whether they’re in a positive or negative light.