U.S. concerned by reports of China LGBT+ social media curbs

by Reuters
Wednesday, 7 July 2021 20:00 GMT

FILE PHOTO: Small toy figures are seen in front of WeChat logo in this illustration picture taken March 15, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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The U.S. State Department expressed concern about reports that China had restricted social media accounts of LGBT+ student groups

WASHINGTON, July 7 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Wednesday it was concerned about reports that China had restricted use of social media accounts of LGBT+ student groups and non-governmental organizations.

Members of LGBT groups told Reuters that Chinese tech giant Tencent's WeChat social media platform had deleted dozens of LGBT accounts run by university students, saying some had broken rules on information on the internet, sparking fear of a crackdown on gay content online.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the department was aware of the reports. He told a regular news briefing: "We're concerned that (China) has restricted the social media accounts of LGBTQI+ student groups and NGOs that were merely expressing their views, exercising their right to freedom of expression and freedom of speech."

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom, Humeyra Pamuk and Daphne Psaledakis; Editing by Leslie Adler)