China’s queer internet is being erased
LGBTQI groups found rare freedoms online, but this year, many were shut by censors. It feels like slowly being sanded down, said one member.

Across China, queer college societies, which had been rare spaces to safely push boundaries, were being swiftly erased from the Chinese internet. In July, 14 of the largest and most prominent accounts were banned, cutting connections between thousands of members scattered across the country and casting them adrift.

The struggle has worsened. Things that were acceptable to speak about online before can now open you up to attack. It’s not just LGBTQI issues, in Mei’s view. Anything rights-related is now a target.

When the country went online in the 1990s, so did many queer people who wanted to find others like them. Gay sex was decriminalized in China in 1997, but by then, there was already a thriving online community. (…) “Censorship wasn’t as strict,” he said of those early years. “It gave you the false belief that things would get better.”

Though these apps present themselves as allies to the gay community, they have aligned with the censors. Blued assigns each user “rainbow credits,” which they deduct if users violate community regulations. Leo has found this includes trying to organize an activity. When a user loses credits, their profile faces more restrictions, the final stage of which is being frozen. Blued’s parent company is increasingly gathering a monopoly over queer online interactions — in August 2020, it bought the largest lesbian dating app, Lesdo, which it shut down this year.

-10ένας χρόνος

western propaganda

5ένας χρόνος

Yes of course. And let me guess, when the French empire censors anti-racist human rights organizations, it’s Daech propaganda? Not every power abuse has to be an elaborate hoax mounted by foreign powers, you know. Power structures are really good at producing abuse in the first place.

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