China's Sina Weibo's recent announcement about the removal of homosexual content from its site has sparked an online protest campaign under the hashtag 'I am gay,' according to Agence France-Presse.
On Friday, April 13, the popular Chinese microblogging site announced that it would run a 3-month clean-up campaign to remove gay content including pictures, test posts and even "manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality."
Soon after that, the post drew flak on the microblogging site as it received more than 24,000 comments and was forwarded more than 110,000 times. A large number of protesters have been rallying online with the hashtag of "I am gay."
The 3-month campaign will also tackle "violent video games, like 'Grand Theft Auto'," Weibo said on the official account of its administrators. They also said that the decision has been taken in an aim to comply with China's new cybersecurity law that calls for strict data surveillance.
After the announcement, an angry user wrote, "There can be no homosexuality under socialism? It is unbelievable that China progresses economically and militarily but returns to the feudal era in terms of ideas."
"I am gay and I'm proud, even if I get taken down there are tens of millions like me!" wrote another.
"How is it that public opinion has narrowed so much in the last two years?" said another user.
Some posts were quickly taken down by the platform along with a message showing that they contained "illegal content".
Not only this, Oscar-winning movie Call Me By Your Name, starring Armie Hammer, was removed from a Chinese film festival last month due to unknown reasons.
This week, Toutiao, a popular news and online content portal, has been forced to pull down their joke sharing app because of its "vulgar and improper content".
Weibo has reportedly removed 56,243 pieces of content and closed 108 user accounts so far.