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Tue Jul 6, 2021, 06:40 PM

 

WeChat terminates LGBT+ accounts of Chinese college students in overnight crackdown

WeChat terminates LGBT+ accounts of Chinese college students in overnight crackdown

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The LGBT+ groups found that their content had been permanently deleted, and the accounts’ main pages replaced with a notice saying that after receiving “relevant reports from users,” WeChat decided to terminate them because they “had violated regulations on the management of accounts offering public information service on the Chinese internet.” But beyond the brief note, the platform has yet to offer any further explanation.

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Speculation about an official campaign was further fueled by a photo of a government order that has been making the rounds on Chinese social media. In the unverified document, which is dated May 19, the Education Ministry of Jiangsu Province ordered Hohai University to conduct a “comprehensive inspection” of feminist and LGBT+ student organizations on its campus, which it said should include reviews of their members and presences on social media.

The large-scale termination of accounts has been met with outrage from LGBT+ individuals and others on the Chinese internet. “What saddens me the most is that we have no idea how to revolt and who we should react against,” a Weibo user wrote (in Chinese), while another one commented (in Chinese), “What a giant step backward for my country. I’m so disappointed.”

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