Rare win for China’s LGBT community after censorship U-turn by Sina Weibo

Runners of the Shanghai Pride Run make signs with their fingers while wearing rainbow shoelaces at the start of the race in Shanghai on June 18, 2016. Beijing (CNN)One of China’s biggest social media companies on Monday reversed a decision to censor gay content — a rare victory for the country’s nascent but increasingly vocal LGBT rights movement.

Bowing to intense public pressure, Sina Weibo — often called China’s Twitter — said its latest campaign to "clean up" the platform would no longer target gay-themed content.

"We thank all for your discussions and suggestions," it said in a brief notice posted on its website.

The microblogging service, which boasts nearly 400 million active users, had vowed Friday to remove all gay-themed cartoons and videos — along with pornographic and violent material — to comply with Chinese laws and regulations.

"Sina Weibo’s original decision simply made no sense — why link homosexuality with other illegal activities," said Xiaogang Wei, a leading LGBT rights advocate in China.

"They targeted the entire LGBT community in that notice," he added. "We must pressure these companies and show them it’s not easy to discriminate against an entire community — no matter who orders them to do it." A […]