The massively popular Chinese social forum WeChat quietly deleted the accounts of several LGBTQ groups held in major Chinese universities, Reuters said on Tuesday. Groups were warned that they were “violating Community rules” by Associated Press, but were not provided with additional explanations before the accounts were deleted.
Accounts can’t be viewed on WeChat, but users on Weibo (Chinese analog on Twitter) have compiled a list several affected groups, including groups led by students from Tsinghua University and Fudan University, Inside write. We have contacted the owner and operator of WeChat, Tencent, to comment on the deleted accounts and what rules the groups may have violated.
Homosexuality was removed From the Chinese Psychiatric Association’s list of mental disorders in 2001, but that doesn’t mean people with a queer identity aren’t yet marginalized in the country. The central role of WeChat more or less the default application used by many in China makes the removal of these accounts a huge obstacle to the success of organizing groups of lawyers.
Speaking anonymously AP, one of the now-removed group leaders said their university had encouraged them to close their pages or remove the mention from the university before WeChat entered. New York Times has also reported how difficult it is to make the textbooks used by Chinese universities match the real realities of the country’s queer life.