The decision on Weibo's part is seen as part of a larger move under President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party to stifle ideas despite China's having legalized homosexuality in 1997, according to Newsweek.
In a statement, Weibo said its cleanup would "no longer apply to homosexual content".
Images of hearts and rainbows with slogans "I am a gay, not a pervert" flooded the streets of China as several people protested against popular online website Weibo for removing all such content from its platform which is deemed to be violent or promoting homosexuality.
China's version of Twitter, Weibo, has reversed a ban on gay content after an outcry accused the company of smearing homosexuality by lumping it with pornography as it tried to meet government censorship rules.More news: Shenmue I & II Getting Remastered For PlayStation 4, Xbox One & PC
"This clean-up of games and cartoons will no longer target gay content. Thank you everyone for the discussion and your suggestions", the company said in a statement. At the end of the article, he made his Weibo account public, and chose to come out as gay despite long fears of discrimination.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that China has banned/censored gay content. The crackdown was aimed at creating a "clear and harmonious" community in accordance with China's new cybersecurity law, the site said, with more than 100 accounts and 56,000 posts touching on the banned themes removed so far.
One post in protest of the ban received more than 55,000 likes.
'We must pressure these companies and show them it's not easy to discriminate against an entire community - no matter who orders them to do it'.More news: Choosing Between Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc. (FOXA) and HollyFrontier Corporation (HFC)
According to a 2016 United Nations survey titled "A National Survey on Social Attitudes towards Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression (SOGIE)", just 15 percent of China's LGBT community have come out to their parents, while only 5 percent are publicly gay. Many users included hashtags such as #Iamgay or #Iamgaynotapervert in their posts.
"I am gay and I'm proud, even if I get taken down there are tens of millions like me!' said one poster, who used the handle 'rou wan xiong xiong xiong xiong" and posted a photo of himself.
China's LGBT community and their allies responded immediately to the announcement with hashtag campaigns, with the declaration #我是同性恋# (I am gay) reaching almost 300 million views before it was blocked on Saturday.
In an interview with CNN, Hua Zile, founder of a Weibo page focused on gay rights that was told it would be shut down, said he felt "totally surprised and touched" by the new announcement. "It's incredible to see this happen now, with everyone - straight or gay, celebrities or ordinary people - using the hashtag and joining in".More news: Broncos To Release CJ Anderson