WeChat deletes LGBTQ accounts from Chinese universities in a new crackdown

Shariq TahirWeb Editor

09th Jul, 2021. 01:43 pm
WeChat deletes LGBT accounts from Chinese universities in a new crackdown

Homosexuality was regarded as a mental disease in China until 2001, when it became legal. However, a panel this year upheld a university’s definition of homosexuality as a “psychological disorder.”

Tencent’s WeChat social media network has banned dozens of LGBT accounts established by university students, claiming that some had violated internet information rules, sparking fears of a crackdown on gay content online. Members of many LGBT organisations informed Reuters that their accounts had been disabled and that they later learned that all of their content had been removed.

“Many of us suffered at the same time,” claimed one group’s account manager, who declined to be identified because to the sensitivity of the matter.

“They censored us without any warning. All of us have been wiped out.”

Reuters’ attempts to access some accounts were met with a notification from WeChat stating that the groups “had violated regulations on the management of accounts offering public information service on the Chinese internet”.

Other accounts did not appear in the search results. WeChat did not reply quickly to emailed queries.

The LGBT community has constantly been targeted by censors. China’s Cyberspace Administration recently committed to clean up the internet in order to safeguard minors and to crack down on social media groups regarded to be a “bad influence.”

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