LGBT Chinese community has won a victory against Weibo over its recent ban of lesbian online community after the protest.
This Monday, China’s Twitter-like Weibo restored a community titled “les”, a lesbian group, after removing it on Sunday. It’s not clear what led to the sudden ban, providing that the social network did not censor any other LGBT-related content.
During the shutdown, online protests broke out on Chinese social media with posts/tweets supporting the lesbian community.
By Tuesday afternoon, posts with the hashtag “les” and “I am les” in support of the lesbian community have been viewed more than half a billion times. The “I am les” hashtag was read more than 290 million times and has drawn more than 600,000 posts. (Source)
This reversed ban reminded many a similar news happened a year ago, where a site was removed with gay-related content. The site was later restored again due to the public outrage.
Last year April, Weibo was trying to ban a list of “rule-breaking” contents, including “pornographic, violent and homosexual”. However, with strong pushback from both the internet and even People's Daily, which they used a textbook as reference, quoting "there isn't just one sexual orientation.", Weibo later revised the scope to only include pornography and violence contents.
Chinese government has decriminalized homosexuality in 1997 and removed it as a mental illness in 2001. However, with various Chinese values and cultures within different parts of China, discriminations are still happening against the LGBT community, which might be one of the cause to have a strict control of homosexual content.