In China, any gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) content is considered pornography. Due to this broad description, last month Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, announced it would “remove pornographic, violent or gay videos and cartoons in a three-month campaign, singling out a genre of manga animations and comics that often depict raunchy gay male relationships.” This campaign lasted less than five days as the outcry among Chinese LGBT members caused the company to halt the effort.
The response was massive with the hashtag “I am gay” being “viewed nearly 300 million times on platform. This was before it was banned while the five day campaign existed. While this can be considered a win for LGBT persons in China, it is unclear if the campaign will happen in the future.
It is also “unclear whether Sina’s measure was a direct result of a censorship directive from the government or an initiative taken by the company itself. Sina did not respond to a request for comment.”
The only “official” message people received from the government appeared in the “People’s Daily newspaper of the ruling Communist Party on Sunday encouraged tolerance toward gay people, but added that “vulgar” content must be removed regardless of sexual orientation.”
Time will tell if this was just a misunderstanding or if China will continue its push towards traditional marriage.