Chinese social media giant WeChat shuts LGBT accounts

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — China’s most popular social media service has deleted accounts on LGBT topics run by university students and nongovernment groups, prompting concern the ruling Communist Party is tightening control over gay and lesbian content. The founder of an LGBT group says WeChat sent account holders a notice they violated rules but gave no details. She says dozens of accounts were shut down, all at about 10 p.m. on Tuesday. It isn’t clear whether the step was ordered by Chinese authorities, but it comes as the Communist Party tightens political controls and tries to silence groups that might criticize its rule. The party decriminalized homosexuality in 1997, but gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and other sexual minorities still face discrimination.