On July 6, WeChat banned dozens of accounts run by Chinese LGBT+ student groups. Many of the closed accounts display messages saying that they had "violated" Internet regulations. Urge WeChat to lift the ban on all these public accounts.
Update – 2 September 2021: QQ, the Tencent-owned messaging platform used by over half a billion people in China every day, now blocks search terms like "gay" or "LGBTQ" for group chat. We’ll keep working to dial up the pressure until online censorship against the LGBT+ community in China stops.
On July 6th, Chinese tech giant Tencent's social media platform WeChat censored and banned dozens of accounts at the same time. Most of them were run by LGBT+ groups in universities nationwide. Many of the closed accounts display messages saying that they had "violated" Internet regulations, without giving further details.
WeChat as the major social media platform in China is playing a vital role during daily communication for Chinese people, especially for the LGBT+ community who are very much in need of support in the country.
According to a report conducted by UNDP in 2016, even though homosexuality has already been decriminalized and de-pathologized in China for more than 20 years, LGBT+ people are still suffering from all kinds of discriminations. Besides, cyberspace in China has censored LGBT+-related content with strict standards for years.
Although LGBT student groups traditionally do not get support from university authorities in their work to raise awareness, many of them have still managed to operate for years as safe spaces for China’s LGBT+ youth, with tens of thousands of followers. The ban on all these accounts is devastating for the LGBT+ students in China, whose mental health is already at risk due to high levels of social pressure.
WeChat should provide a friendlier environment for the LGBT+ community in China.
Sign this petition to support LGBT+ students in China and urge WeChat to lift the ban for all their public accounts.