China has banned gay content from the internet, with the regulator calling it ‘abnormal’.
Published by the China Netcasting Services Association, the regulation censors online content ranging from movies and documentaries to cartoons and educational videos.
The new rules will edit or ban content if it displays ‘abnormal sexual behaviors’.
Other rules state content will be removed if it promotes ‘luxurious lifestyles’, shows ‘violent and criminal processes in details’, or demonstrates ‘obscenity’ including masturbation.
The Communist Party of China censors media for political and moral reasons, claiming it does so as their legal right to control the internet’s content within their territory, and their censorship rules do not infringe on the citizen’s right to free speech.
However, this block on homosexuality is seen as a step back.
Geng Le, the creator of Blued, one of China’s most popular dating apps, disagreed with the rules. As reported by Reuters, he said China had removed homosexuality as a mental illness in 2001.
Gay Voice, a Chinese-language LGBTI non-profit magazine, said on social media homosexuality is just normal and should not be treated differently.
‘The false information in these regulations has already caused harm to the Chinese LGBT community — who are already subjected to prejudice and discrimination.’