China's Twitter reverses gay content ban after LGBT outcry

Following days of protest, a popular microblogging platform with hundreds of millions of Chinese users is reversing a recent ban on LGBT-themed content.

Models pose at the Sina Weibo booth at the ChinaJoy Expo, also know as the China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, in Shanghai, China on 29 July, 2011. With over 100 million subscribers, Weibo, China's own twitter-like micro blog social network service from Sina.com has become a rare platform for Chinese netizens to voice their discontent as well as exposing corruption. So much so that the central government has recently required all users to register with their real names in hopes of increasing its censorship. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)
Qilai Shen

The Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo -- essentially China's version of Twitter -- is reversing a recent ban on LGBT-themed content following a weekend of online protest, the site announced Monday morning.

The site will continue efforts to remove violent or pornographic video and anime content, a recent post said, but will no longer lump depictions of gay people in with the purge.

The reversal marks a rare win for LGBT advocates in China. Over the weekend, users flooded the site with posts hashtagged #IAmGay to protest the broad, categorical association of gay people with pornography. The efforts seem to have caught the attention of the Chinese government, with the state-run newspaper People's Daily encouraging tolerance toward gay people while still calling for the removal of explicit or vulgar content, the South China Morning post reports.

With nearly 400 million users, Sina Weibo is one of the most popular websites in China, with a current US market valuation of about $25 billion.

Weibo didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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