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China’s Sina Weibo announced Friday that it will remove gay and violent content, including pictures, cartoons and text posts, during a three-month clean-up campaign. Although homosexuality is not illegal in China, the announcement comes amid a clampdown targeting content across social media platforms.

 

UPDATE: On Monday, Weibo reversed course. Read more here

 

The announcement on Weibo's official administrator’s account, says the action aimed to comply with China’s new cyber security law that calls for strict data surveillance. Weibo, also announced it will clean up "lowbrow content" on its live-streaming platforms to "ensure they do not disrupt China’s socialist core values."

 

By Friday, Weibo had cleared 56,243 pieces of content, shut 108 user accounts and removed 62 topics considered to have violated its standards, it added. Blocked posts instead often display a message stating that they contain “illegal content”.

 

 

Last week, news and online content portal, Toutiao was forced to pull a joke sharing app after a watchdog denounced its “vulgar and improper content”. Toutiao’s chief executive Zhang Yiming said they would correct the issue by permanently banning creators whose content was "against community values". Founded in 2012 by Zhang, Toutiao has become one of the most popular news apps in China, delivering personalized content to more than 120 million daily users.

 

The fact that other video-sharing sites that hosted content that "disrupted socialist values" were being punished, led Tencent last week to also voluntarily embarked on clean-up campaigns to "sanitize content" by removing questionable videos and posts and disallowing sharing by some on their platforms.

 

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