China's Endless War on Online Porn

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on December 14, 2009

For a country determined to stamp out online pornography, China has a surprising amount of smut that manages to remain on the Internet. Or so the Chinese government would have everyone believe. According to the Chinese state-controlled media, digital porn once again is posing a dire threat to the country’s youth. According to research firm JLM Pacific Epoch, “in their effort to expose and fix pornographic content on mobile phones and the Internet, related organizations have discovered that low-brow content has spilled over into blogs and other online spaces, CCTV’s official site CCTV.com reported December 10. Between CCTV’s December 4 report that Google, Baidu and Sohu search engine Sougou.com provided links to obscene content and December 10, China’s 12321 Internet Spam Information Reporting and Resolution Center received calls on more than 5,000 online sites and over 500 WAP sites containing obscene content.” Meanwhile, Reuters reported over the weekend that police in China had detailed over 3,400 people in its anti-porn campaign this year.

Rebecca MacKinnon
, the former CNN reporter who is now a professor at the University of Hong Kong and author of a must-read blog for anyone interested in China’s Internet, says China’s endless battle against porn “involves a great deal of collateral damage for non-pornographic content,” as companies that specialize in legit content get cut off by mobile operators casting a wide net in order to comply with the government’s latest campaign. Rebecca also points to a blog by Milton Mueller from over the weekend on a new way Beijing is trying to control the Chinese Net by limiting access to URLs that end in .cn, for China. As Mueller writes, “China’s government is using its control of domain names to impose more strict controls over the Internet. In a recent announcement of China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), individuals can no longer register .cn domain names unless they can provide business registration information.” The regulation takes effect today, he writes, and applicants for a domain name must provide, among other things, a copy of the national ID card of the applicant. I’m not sure that’s going to have much of a chilling effect on the Chinese Internet, since it’s unlikely people interested in launching politically charged websites would have been trying to register them in China anyway. Still, the measure is another sign that, when it comes to how tightly it should control the Internet, the Chinese government isn’t taking any chances.

Reader Comments

DanTe

December 14, 2009 11:34 AM

Since business "applications" in China can take anywhere from 1 day to 2 years, and cost from 1 yuan to 500,000 yuan - this is just another way for Party members to make sure that only their own relatives can register the ideas others had come up with. And please, before the braindead commie lovers out there pipe in, go and try to apply for a business "license" in China first. Don't just yap, go do it and find out.

jambo

December 14, 2009 12:02 PM

The best way to decrease people's interest in porn is to allow it. Once their curiosity is satisfied, they will get bored and lose interest. Of course, the Chinese govt really isn't worried about porn, they r worried about control. Content control, so they can control the population.

jpquezada

December 14, 2009 3:52 PM

1.5 billion people in china, you really thing is possible to get porn out?

Warren

December 14, 2009 3:56 PM

I find it ironic that a country with so many human rights abuses would make such an effort when our country does little to stem the flow of ever younger porn participants.

We wallow in a sea of hypocrisy by turning a blind eye, or rather, secretly viewing it.

This will come back to bite us.

Dante

December 14, 2009 8:49 PM

I think its a good think, im not conservative or socialist or anything but when it comes to porn i think i'll make an exception. It's just bad all around i mean we might not see the effects of it today but, like cocaine in the 80s and crack in the 90s, sooner or later its going to sink in. Despite all of the rights woman are receiving these days, they are starting to look more and more like objects in the eyes of America. Kind of like blacks in the early 1800s. Nobody cared how much they suffered, they weren't people anyway.

C. H. Ng

December 14, 2009 8:51 PM

Pornography like prostitution is one die-hard issue which is simply cannot be surpressed. You can controlled or minimized but you just cannot totally eradicate it once & for all. So in this case, I think the Chinese government's well intention will be in vain. Why not then divert her energy / resources to other area where it's more urgently needed?

C. H. Ng

December 15, 2009 3:38 AM

Further to my earlier comment, I do agreed with idea that one way to reduce the people's interest in pornography is to flood it everywhere until people started to get sicked of it. Afterall the more the authority try to stop people from viewing, the more determine the people will want to view them.

This is natural & the other thing is too much censorship will tend to cause ignorance among the people.
Just like the time I was working in one Middle East country (name omitted here). There was (and I think now still is) no chance of boy getting to meet girl kind of relationship. One time I was flying out of the country during my vacation break & there were these 3 young men from the country where I was working also flying on the same plane sitting just behind me and I think most probably they were flying for the first time. When the pretty airstewardess was smiling & courteously serving them, one of the 3 poor "idiots" thoguht the girl was interested in him & bought a few onflight gifts like perfume to give it to her. You may think it was generous of the young gentleman to show his gratitude for her good service but I doubt it because they were sitting behind me and I overheard his excited loud comment to his friends that the girl was interested in him.

So the point here this poor chap was totally ignorant due not to his fault but his country's or society's perception of boy-girl relationship. Nevertheless I am not saying there is nothing wrong with pornography. It all depend on how ones look at it; if you think it's morally wrong & dirty, it's dirty alright. If you think it's just a picture, then treat it as one. It's not to kill you or corrupt you UNLESS your naive mind wanted it that way....!

Howard

December 18, 2009 9:17 AM

Porns are just as harmful to the youth as illegel drugs. You can controlled or minimized but you just cannot totally eradicate it once & for all.

Justin

December 19, 2009 10:42 PM

People are paid to do porn, and others want to see it.

All it is simply taking pictures or filming of sexual acts that will always go on. Anyone with a camera can create porn, and because of that it's impossible to eliminate.

Period.

And it has nothing to do with the exploitation of women, men are in porn too and both women and men pay for male pornographic images.......

Dual Action Cleanse

December 29, 2009 12:16 AM

Yes, i agree with your article and i read throughly it. i think that it is not doing good by the China for youth.

Batucada

January 26, 2010 2:04 AM

Seriously, if China wants to curb its population, releasing porn is the way to go. Once the guys are done doing what they do with porn, they find it less necessary to procreate to reduce their urges. Look at Japan, with its negative population growth. Most probably attributed to its porn friendly culture.

WinWinPorn

February 8, 2010 1:05 AM

Porn is like drugs, leads to addiction. Now control drugs for medication purposes are good for society. Therefore control porn is also good for society. Maybe the Chinese state government can have sanction porn video where couples who can't get it up, or individual suffering from depression can goto the government hospital, to watch porn videos per schedule. Government can collect payment for providing porn medication and control distribution and customer can "enjoy" it and get out from depression. Win win.

WTFchina

February 17, 2010 8:36 PM

The Chinese people are so servile, allowing themselves to be controlled. Stand up for liberty and the right to have and view sex when you want. Mao is dead stop living in fear!

samyvellu

February 21, 2010 11:13 AM

View porn, yeah!!

bob

February 25, 2010 4:40 AM

What is silly is that because Chinese families kill off their female babies... fewer and fewer boys in China have a hope of finding a relationship.

What else are they supposed to do?

Probably China wants to focus all of their pent up energy into hacking instead of other on-line activities.

Bill Amerika

March 9, 2010 9:37 AM

What! no samples ?

Dee

March 9, 2010 11:36 AM

In regards to "Allow a flood and it will go away". How about some facts. That thought has worked well in free porno America were 80% of internet sites are Porno. But the truth is laws will not change this. Porno is a drug, it never ultimately satisfies and will drag you down to the pit were it starts from. Only a God changed heart and soul will achieve true change in our screwed up lives.

BillyHewitt

April 18, 2010 1:28 PM

China is doing God's work by stopping pornography and homosexuality while the USA, Canada, and Europe embrace evil and devil worship and debt. BRIC and China will rule the world economy because of the global trade blunder by Bush I,
Bush II, Clinton I, Obama_mama in creating FREE TRADE FTAA.
These debt worshipers sing the same old song MORE DEBT...MORE DEBT...MORE DEBT. Catch UCCNews with Bill Edmond who reports on the CBA (Crtooked Bankers Association) invention THE DERIVATIVE that causes financial crashes and MORE DEBT

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Bloomberg Businessweek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies.

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