China instituted a new measure that will negatively impact its LGBTQ citizens. On Friday June 30, the China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) put into effect new regulations that ban online videos that promote “abnormal sexual behaviors.”
This is a major setback for the LGBTQ community in China. Depictions of homosexuality fall under the government’s umbrella of “abnormal” sexual behavior, and this new measure effectively erases LGBTQ characters and stories from online media. Under the new policy, "professional censors" employed by the video sharing website will edit out or remove any LGBTQ content from their sites.
This regulation is only the latest attempt by authorities to censor the Chinese people’s access to diverse ideas and perspectives. In 2016, the Chinese government banned portrayals of LGBTQ people from appearing on TV, and in June, the government took down celebrity gossip blogs that they perceived to be “catering to the public’s vulgar taste.”
Li Yinhe, a sociologist and activist for LGBTQ rights, has criticized the Chinese governments censorship initiatives: "Trying to regulate and censor people's desires is as absurd as trying to regulate and censor people's appetites," Li Yinhe said.
In 2016, human rights advocacy organization Freedom House condemned China, calling it “the worst abuser of Internet freedom.”