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China's version of Twitter reverses ban on gay content after a backlash from users

  • Weibo, which is seen as China's equivalent of Twitter, reversed a ban on gay content Monday.
  • On Friday, the social media service announced plans to remove posts containing pornographic cartoons, videos that promote violence, homosexual content, and violent video games.
  • But after backlash from Weibo users, the company backtracked.
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Weibo, which is seen as China's equivalent of Twitter, reversed a ban on gay content Monday.

On Friday, the social media service which has 172 million daily active users, announced plans to remove posts containing pornographic cartoons, videos that promote violence, homosexual content, and violent video games. Weibo said that it would do this to comply with Chinese laws.

But after backlash from Weibo users, the company backtracked. In a post Monday, it said that it would no longer target "homosexual content" but would still clean up pornographic and violent posts.

Weibo users posted images with their partners and comments protesting the ban with the hashtag #iamgay.

One popular post was from a mother who said her son was gay. She mentioned the fact that homosexuality was decriminalized in China in 1997 and later removed from an official list of mental illnesses.

State-run newspaper People's Daily published an article over the weekend in which it said that being gay or bisexual was "not a disease," in what was a swipe at the Weibo announcement.