China Is Banning Gay Content from the Internet

China Is Banning Gay Content from the Internet

From the outside looking in, living in China feels like living under Big Brother, and this new development in censorship doesn't help that notion. The country implemented a new regulation Friday that banned any display of "abnormal sexual behaviors" from online video and audio content. Their definition of "abnormal sexual behaviors" sadly includes homosexuality.

Under the new regulations, content will at least be edited, and possibly banned, if it demonstrates any sexual obscenity or promotes "luxurious lifestyles" or "behaviors" like homosexuality. The rules are not surprising considering China's history of heavy censorship on the Web, but it perpetuates the false notion that homosexuality is wrong or unnatural, and that even the mere support of gay people could be considered obscene.

Online censorship in general is a hotly contested topic in China, with many stating that the Chinese government's attempts to censor thoughts and desires are ineffective and unjust. "Trying to regulate and censor people's desires is as absurd as trying to regulate and censor people's appetites," said Li Yinhe, one of China's major advocates for free sexuality.

However, for the LGBT community especially, the Internet is a place where people can seek solace and advice from people around the world, and in turn learn more about themselves. Restricting that knowledge from the Chinese LGBT community, as well as promoting the idea that homosexuality is obscene, could be detrimental. Gay Voice, an independent Chinese LGBT publication, stated that "the false information in these regulations has already caused harm to the Chinese LGBT community — who are already subjected to prejudice and discrimination."

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