Anti-gay banner at Wuhan university

Society & Culture

Top society and culture news for April 17, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "‘Swords drawn’ over North Korea."

On April 16, a photo of two women holding up a blatant anti-gay banner appeared on social media accounts (in Chinese) of students at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, in the central Chinese province of Hubei. The banner reads, “Maintain the traditional values of the Chinese nation, defend the core values of socialism, resist the corruption of decadent Western ideas, keep homosexuality far away from the university campus.” The photos have sparked an escalating backlash from China’s LGBTQ community and the general public. On the social media platform Weibo, one internet user wrote (in Chinese), “Why would someone who has received a college education say ignorant things like this?”

Toilet paper thieves strike Chengdu park

In March, reports emerged of facial recognition being tested in the public toilets of a Beijing park to deter the elderly thieves who were taking away large quantities of toilet paper. On April 16, Chengdu Evening News reported (in Chinese) that a “toilet revolution” announced by the city on April 1, which was intended to ensure that public toilets at a city park are equipped with hand sanitizer and ample toilet paper, has fallen victim to thieves, who removed 1,500 rolls of toilet paper in just seven days. Many of the comments (in Chinese) about the news on the social media platform Weibo repeat a common Chinese complaint about the low “quality” (素质 sùzhì) of the citizenry.