China protest against Weibo's cleanup campaign
Beijing [China], April 16 : Images of hearts and rainbows with slogans I am a gay, not a pervert flooded the streets of China as several people protested against popular online website Weibo for removing all such content from its platform which is deemed to be violent or promoting homosexuality.As per media reports, The website has announced a three-month 'cleanup' campaign as part of which Japanese comics Manga, pornographic media, violent graphics and media promoting homosexuality, has been targeted.
The move has gone down well with the Internet users who started holding an online protest with hashtag #I am gay which was used 170,000 times before the Weibo ultimately banned it.
Many posted selfies with the words "I am gay not a pevert," followed by a chain of rainbow emoticons. Activists circulated slogans like, "My mouth can be muted, but my love can't be", as per the New York Times.
New York Times quoted a local Chinese newspaper The People's Daily which carried an article saying that being gay or bisexual was "not a disease," but it added that gay people needed to "take on their own social responsibilities while advocating their rights".
China had decriminalized homosexuality way back in 1997 and declassified it as a mental illness in 2001 but the government authorities are still curbing the practice of the same in many ways.
As per the new cyber security laws in place China's government could pressurise the private entities to censor such content it deems to be inappropriate.
Further, a large number of user accounts and social media pages have been deleted for showcasing prohibited content.