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China Bans Gay Content Online (Report)

Gay-themed content has been scrubbed from Sina Weibo, one of China’s largest social media platforms.

The action was reported by state-owned tabloid newspaper The Global Times, which said that the detoxification program is to last three months.

Sina said that it had cleaned up over 56,000 unregulated posts, closed 108 accounts and removed other discussion topics.

The action in being taken to “further make a clean and harmonious community environment” and is being done “according to laws and regulations such as the Cyber security Law,” Sina said in a notice posted on its site.

Sina said that its targets included pornographic, violent or gay-themed cartoons, pictures, videos and articles, as well as such contents as “slash, gay, boys love and gay fictional stories.” The notification itself was reposted more than 20,000 times.

In a parallel move, the Beijing International Film Festival this week removed gay-themed “Call Me By Your Name,” which had previously been announced as part of its selection.

Whether homosexual content is illegal or not in China is currently a subject of debate. In June last year, China Netcasting Service Association, a non-government organization administered by SAPPRFT banned service providers from releasing programs that “present abnormal sexual relations or behavior,” such as incest, homosexual relations, sexual harassment and sexual violence.

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In a rare move, filmmaker Fan Chunlin has been granted permission to challenge the ruling in court. Fan has questioned why China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT),categorizes homosexual relations as “abnormal.”

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