Users of China’s Sina Weibo, a microblogging site in the vein of Twitter, are fighting back against the site’s announcement that it will begin a three-month “cleanup” to remove/censor LGBT and violent content. Upon the site’s announcement of the crackdown on its official administrator’s account on Friday, users began commenting on and forwarding the news accompanied by the hashtag “I am gay,” according to Reuters.
A few of the early resisters were shut down immediately with the message that their posts contained “illegal content” but Weibo’s announcement that it would censor users pulled in 24,000 comments and was forwarded 110,000 times. More than 170,000 people used the “I am gay” hashtag before they were shut down mid-day on Saturday, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
“I am gay and I’m proud, even if I get taken down there are tens of millions like me!” wrote one user who went by the handle “rou wan xiong xiong xiong xiong.”
The decision on Weibo’s part is seen as part of a larger move under President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party to stifle ideas despite China’s having legalized homosexuality in 1997, according to Newsweek.
"There can be no homosexuality under socialism?” a Weibo user wrote, according to AFP. “It is unbelievable that China progresses economically and militarily but returns to the feudal era in terms of ideas.”
Last month, a Beijing film festival pulled the Oscar-nominated gay-themed film Call Me By Your Name from its calendar without an explanation.