Silencing LGBTQ voices through censorship
It seems to be becoming harder and harder to find social media spaces that welcome LGBTQ people and support the publication of sex-positive content.
The latest anti-LGBTQ move comes from TikTok.
The Guardian reports that TikTok’s efforts to provide locally sensitive moderation have resulted in it banning any content that could be seen as positive to gay people or gay rights, even down to same-sex couples holding hands. This banning of queer-friendly content extends to countries where homosexuality has never been illegal.
TikTok is owned by ByteDance – a company based in Beijing.
According to TikTok’s guidelines that have been reviewed by the Guardian, an entire section of the rules was devoted to censoring depictions of homosexuality.
“Intimate activities (holding hands, touching, kissing) between homosexual lovers” were censored, as were “reports of homosexual groups, including news, characters, music, tv show, pictures”.
Similarly blocked was content about “protecting rights of homosexuals (parade, slogan, etc.)” and “promotion of homosexuality”. In all those guidelines, TikTok went substantially further than required by law.
In a statement, TikTok said it was “a platform for creativity, and committed to equality and diversity”.