In an effort to strengthen its “Great Firewall“, China is banning online videos with homosexual content after determining that they display “abnormal sexual behavior.”
The move is part of a set of new regulations issued by the China Netcasting Services Association (CNSA) concerning audio-visual online content, including cartoons, documentaries, dramas, films and short clips.
Under the new rules, all online content must “adhere to the correct political direction and strive to disseminate contemporary Chinese values.”
Aside from homosexuality, other prohibited displays of “abnormal” sexual behaviors include incest, sexual assault, sexual perversion and sexual violence.
“Unhealthy love and marriage situations,” extramarital affairs, one-night stands and promiscuity should not be promoted too, What’s on Weibo noted.
The rules also warn against online content that “are harmful to the country’s image” or “endanger national unity and social stability.”
The promotion of “luxurious lifestyles” as well as detailed acts of violence have also been prohibited.
The CNSA immediately received criticisms following its announcement, particularly from China’s LGBT community and supporters.
Many were simply shocked that homosexuality, even after being declassified as a mental disorder in April 2001, is still considered an “abnormal” sexual behavior by the government.
Zhang Beichuan, a sexologist at Qingdao University, told the Global Times that the criteria used in the making of the new rules are “absurd and wrong,” noting that they show a lack of professional knowledge among its makers.
“Homosexuality is a normal and natural phenomenon that involved a small group of people, as defined in Chinese university text books,” Zhang said, adding that the CNSA was wrong with its understanding of concepts. “They misuse the concepts. Sexual freedom includes freedom to marriage and freedom to love, which are all positive and healthy values, but the criteria did not define it clearly.”
What do you think about China’s new censorship rules?