WeChat blocks LGBTQ student groups in China

On 6 July 2021, almost all WeChat accounts run by LGBTQ+ groups at universities and high schools were suspended and removed from the platform without warning. Their content was blocked and accounts now appear as “unnamed WeChat account”. 

If users try to view the WeChat official account pages, they receive the message:

“In response to related complaints, the account violated the ‘Regulations on the Management of Internet User Public Account Information Services’. WeChat has blocked all content and suspended the account.”

A notice about the accounts’ removal on China LGBTQ+ website

The accounts’ removal represents a tightening of freedoms for sexual and gender minorities in China. The combination of student clubs and grassroots organisations had tens of thousands of followers in total. “恰帕斯东风Radio” wrote a WeChat article listing all the WeChat accounts that had been banned, which has since been removed. The author wrote:

“The volunteers and staff behind these WeChat accounts have helped and encouraged me when I was depressed and I lost the confidence to live. I can’t accept that they have disappeared for no reason. I believe that there are also many more people like me. These acts show discrimination against China’s LGBT community.” 

Weibo also removed the hashtag “#unnamed WeChat account” (#未命名公众号). Yet, netizens still showed support for the LGBTQ+ community through the lesser-known hashtag “#tonight we are all unnamed WeChat accounts” (#今晚我们都是未命名公众号) which has only 22,000 views.

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