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    NewsChinaWeChat closes LGBT accounts in China

    WeChat closes LGBT accounts in China

    China’s most popular social networking service deleted LGBT-themed accounts maintained by university students and non-government groups, raising fears that the ruling Communist Party is tightening controls over gay content.

    WeChat sent account administrators a notice that they were violating rules, but did not provide details, according to the founder of one LGBT group, who asked not to be identified for fear of possible official retaliation. She said dozens of accounts were shut down, all around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

    It was unclear whether the move was ordered, but it comes as the government tightens political controls and tries to silence groups that might criticize it.

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    WeChat operator Tencent Holding Ltd. confirmed it received an email seeking comment, but did not immediately respond.

    The Communist Party decriminalized homosexuality in 1997, but gays, lesbians, bisexuals, bisexuals, transgender and other sexual minorities continue to face discrimination. Although there is more public discussion of the issue, some LGBT activities have been blocked by the authorities.

    The official attitude is getting stricter, said the founder of the LGBT group.

    The content of the WeChat accounts, which included personal stories and photos of collective events, were deleted, according to the group’s founder.

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    The former operator of a different group for college students, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, said the move is a devastating blow.

    University officials asked students two months ago to shut down LGBT groups on social media or avoid mentioning the names of their schools, according to the LGBT group’s founder. She said universities in Jiangsu province were instructed by authorities to investigate women’s rights and sexual minority groups to “maintain stability.

    Alex Dawit
    Alex Dawit
    Alex Dawit is Journalist of the Awutar. He had completed his graduation in Journalism and Communication, Pakistan. He is passionate about News, Blogging & Research Writing. You can contact him via: [email protected]

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