One battle China's online censors can't win

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on May 28, 2007

For a regime notorious for censoring the Internet, China’s government is having an awfully hard time fighting one of its main online enemies - porn. Beijing may have the upper hand in battling online advocates of democracy or the Falun Gong, but when it comes to sex, even China’s tens of thousands of Chinese Internet cops are overwhelmed. It’s not for lack of effort. Seems every month we hear about another campaign from Beijing targeting Internet porn. Just last week, for instance, I wrote an Asiatech post about a Chinese blogger whom the police nabbed for writing online erotica.

Still, there’s no shortage of Chinese willing to risk arrest by providing or viewing online porn. Consider this article from the China Daily about Zhang Meimei, professor at Beijing’s Capital Normal University. She’s director of the school’s research center on sex education and recently called for China to launch a ratings system for websites. According to Zhang, the Internet has 370 million sexually explicit websites, and Chinese can get to lots of them, despite the best efforts of the government. Says the China Daily: “Zhang, who has studied sex education for 16 years, said Web sites should cater to the needs of juveniles and improve their environment because ‘it is impossible to block all the unhealthy information on the Internet.’” (Emphasis added)

So China’s Internet cops are not all powerful. Unfortunately for free-speech advocates and for Chinese dissidents, it’s a lot easier for Beijing’s censors to target the far smaller number of political sites. In that fight, the numbers definitely still favor the government.

Reader Comments

Jana

May 29, 2007 4:09 AM

The Chinese communist regime doesn't really care about sex on line. It's the true Opiate of the Masses, as long as Chinese people are focused on sex, corruption, making money the Ccp will not persecute them and neither will those people be a problem for the communist regime.

The internet spies look out for Falun Gong practitioners and democratic supporters . A recently released Human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheing said during his 8 month incarceration the 2 issues the CCp were most concerned with was the resilience of Falun Gong and the social uprisings. Neither can be contained or stopped.

The communist regime is imploding from with in.

Over 22 million communist members have resigned since Nov 2004 when an editorial series "The Nine Commentaries" was published by the Epoch Times GLobal newpaper.

joe

May 30, 2007 11:43 PM

To Jana,
Making reference to the Epoch Times...? You must be a Falun Gong symphatizer.

Steven

May 31, 2007 5:17 AM

Jana is a Fa lun Gong. haha!

22 million communist members have resigned since Nov 2004 .

Big joke. Any one can trust you?

Addie

June 6, 2007 8:58 PM

Well, if Jana is a Falun Gong symphatizer, then joe and Steven must be communist symphatizers.

joe

June 9, 2007 6:22 AM

The Communist Party of China is currently one of the most successful economically performing governments on the planet. As such if you were to label me pro-communist, I won't mind.

On the otherhand, Falun Gong is just a BS cult spreading discredited BS nonsense about the CCP all because it has an axe to grind.

array

July 6, 2007 12:53 AM

Actually you know nothing about China and it's cultures.I'm no communism, but Chinese Communism is not like what you nuts imagined.
Go back to study your baby talk books!
Empty headed poor guy.
Probably, you need a tour in China to look and see.

d00dz

July 6, 2007 12:54 PM

go lrn some ENGRISH

Steven

July 8, 2007 7:28 AM

Basically Few in China care about if you are a communists or a KMT member.

The fact is that the communist party in China is doing its job well even it has a lot of problems. It is make China stronger and richer. BTW, only the elites or the hardworking people in China can join the communist party. Being a communist in China is not a shame, but Fa Lun Gong is definitely a shame.

Tahir Yazdani Malik

July 18, 2007 2:12 AM

China is rapidly growing in the media and IT business areas in the recent years and has now realized that services like Google are ever more important for locla entrepreneurs to search the world information thru global search engines

Andy, school teacher

August 29, 2007 4:59 PM

Maybe they are not all powerful but they are often annoying... Some of my students use esl programs to learn English better; the program involved a lot of communication with students from other countries. A couple of weeks ago they told me that the site is blocked in China! I wonder what's wrong with them... Is it bas to learn English or publish some helpful materials on the Internet???

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