#IAmGay Is Trending as Weibo Scrambles to Delete ‘Illegal’ Gay Content

The hashtag #IAmGay is trending after a large microblogging site in China, Weibo, banned all gay content in a crackdown on what it says is a "cleanup" of "illegal" content. Homosexuality is not illegal in China, but there are no protections or equality measures for LGBT people. Weibo, which has has been compared to Twitter, also lumped violent content into its ban.

"Social media users reacted with posts with the hashtag #IAmGay, which had gathered 130 million views and 135,000 comments a few hours after Weibo’s initial post," German news agency dpa International reports.

"As a member of this group, I am proud, I am glorious ... I refuse to be discriminated and misunderstood," wrote one user on Weibo.

"If one day [my children] realize that #IAmGay, I hope that they will only be happy for finding themselves that day, and not fall into the abyss of being 'naturally illegal'," another user wrote. 

“I am gay and I’m proud, even if I get taken down there are tens of millions like me!,” another user said, according to Reuters. He also posted a photo of himself.

In a post to users Weibo said the change was made to "create a bright and harmonious community environment," SkyNews adds.

"There can be no homosexuality under socialism?" another asked. "It is unbelievable that China progresses economically and militarily but returns to the feudal era in terms of ideas."

As of Friday night, "Weibo has so far cleared 56,243 pieces of content, shut 108 user accounts and removed 62 topics considered to have violated its standards," Reuters adds.

Image by Jon Russell via Flickr and a CC license


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