WeChat: Dozens of Chinese user accounts have been banned without notice by the social network WeChat, one of the country’s largest digital platforms. According to news agencies, all carried out publications on the LGBTQIA+ theme.
According to the Associated Press, the profiles were from college students, activists and members of non-governmental organizations. The published content did not appear to violate network rules and were mostly topics of debate regarding the cause.
As entire profiles were deleted, photos and personal posts were also removed, even without reference to themes. Several of the students chose not to identify themselves to the reports for fear of retaliation.
Blame the government or platform?
The affected users claim that they were censored for talking about topics considered sensitive in society, accusing both the government and the social network of trying to silence the speeches. And despite not considering homosexuality a mental disorder since 2001, China still rigidly treats speeches and movements on the subject.
According to Reuters, university entities that debate and fight for LGBTQIA+ rights do not receive support from educational institutions and are constantly investigated by authorities. However, this is the first time that something similar has happened with posts on social networks.
WeChat has not yet officially commented on the case, but some of the suspended accounts now point to a warning that the profile in question “violated regulations on account management offering a public information service on China’s Internet”. The service, which belongs to giant Tencent, is also a popular messenger and digital payment system.