China halts new BlueD registrations for 1 week

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China halts new BlueD registrations for 1 week

Post by Gaybutton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:28 am

Chinese gay dating app halts registration after underage HIV report

January 6, 2019

BEIJING: Chinese gay dating app Blued is halting new user registration for a week, it said on Sunday, following media reports that underage users caught HIV after going on dates set up via the world's largest networking app for the LGBT community.

China has a vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender scene (LGBT) scene, though activists say conservative attitudes among some groups in society have prompted occasional government clampdowns.

On Saturday, citing academic research, financial magazine Caixin said juveniles were heavily involved in the gay dating app, where some teenagers had even hosted livestreaming.

It added that many gay teenagers had unprotected sex through the app and contracted HIV, the virus that causes Aids.

In response, Blued vowed to launch a "comprehensive content audit and regulation," and crack down on juvenile users posing as adults and on texts, pictures and groups that involve minors.

"Blued always forbids juveniles from logging on and using the app," it said in a statement on its verified account on China's Twitter-like Weibo.

The company added that it had enabled artificial intelligence to weed out pornographic content since last year, and vowed to further support Aids prevention work.

The Beijing-based company did not immediately reply to a request from Reuters for comment on Sunday.

Blued, which was launched in 2010 and now boasts 40 million registered users, is backed by state-run media Beijing News. It is the brainchild of a former policeman who quit his job to play Cupid to millions of gay men in China.

Grindr, a Los Angeles-based gay dating app well-known globally, is also owned by a Chinese company.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/ ... hiv-report

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Re: China halts new BlueD registrations for 1 week

Post by fountainhall » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:41 am

I have no doubt this report is correct - sadly. HIV-AIDS education is limited in China, as in quite a few other countries, and with so many closet gays Blued is one route both for uneducated youths to meet up and for some underage guys to sneak under their radar.

The only point I can make in the site's defence is that, unlike most other sites, before a photo can be unloaded the member has to submit a short selfie video as proof identity.

I think everyone has to maintain a degree of skepticism that all those cases of HIV were a direct result of sex with a Blued member. Who knows whom those infected might have been with prior to joining Blued? We know - and I have met guys here in Thailand - who became infected in their early teens after being molested by family members.

I hope Blued’s new measures will go some way to rooting out underage sex.

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Re: China halts new BlueD registrations for 1 week

Post by Gaybutton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:52 am

fountainhall wrote:The only point I can make in the site's defence
I fail to see why the site would need to defend itself at all. Part of the article says, "many gay teenagers had unprotected sex through the app and contracted HIV."

What are they talking about? How does unprotected sex and the spread of HIV cases become the fault of the app? The app provides a means for gay people to find and meet each other. That's all. Once they meet, whatever happens next is the responsibility of the people themselves. It's not responsibility of the app.

If anyone is at fault, in my opinion the fault lies with the Chinese government for failing to educate their people about HIV and safe sex.

I have no idea what halting new registrations for a week is supposed to accomplish. It seems to me some schmuck in the Chinese government, apparently clueless, came up with this idea.

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Re: China halts new BlueD registrations for 1 week

Post by fountainhall » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:01 am

According to the article, the main reason for the new measures relates to underage sex. I have been approached by guys from Blued who quite openly have told me they are 16 or 17 despite claiming to be 19 in their profile. I don’t know how Blued or any other site can effectively ban underage guys from joining, but I assume there must be some algorithm picking up words like 16 and 17 in conversations.

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Re: China halts new BlueD registrations for 1 week

Post by Gaybutton » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:10 am

fountainhall wrote:According to the article, the main reason for the new measures relates to underage sex.
I still don't see what that has to do with preventing the spread of HIV. "Underage" is the age determined by legislation.

If China wants to make a serious effort to curtail the spread of HIV, blaming an app is hardly the way to do it. Blaming an app because it's a gay app is also hardly the way to do it. Do those in authority in China actually still believe HIV is limited to gays?

There is only one way to help bring the spread of HIV under control - start educating the people - and educate all of them, not just gays. Of course, that assumes those in authority know anything about it themselves . . .

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