News24

China shuts blogs for porn, vulgarity

2011-10-31 14:52

Beijing - China has shut 50 micro-blogs for distributing pornography and carrying "vulgar content", state media said on Monday, as the government steps up monitoring of the internet.

"The micro-blogs were shut down for violations that include carrying pornographic images and videos, information for prostitution, as well as illegal advertising for sex-related drugs and productions," Xinhua news agency said.

"Members of the public reported the micro-blogs, which were then investigated and closed by authorities," it added, citing an unidentified official at one of the country's internet regulators, the State Internet Information Office.

The government has called for stricter policing of the nation's wildly-popular micro-blogs that more than 200 million Chinese use. Home-grown micro-blogging sites have also served as lively arenas for public discussion over government policies and scandals.

The spread of porn and vulgar material has been effectively contained since a crackdown on internet- and cellphone-based pornography was launched in 2009, Xinhua said.

"Authorities will continue to take measures to cut down on new channels used for spreading pornography and vulgar material."

It provided no other details.

China's micro-bloggers showed their potency in a string of recent official scandals, particularly an online uproar in the wake of a high-speed bullet train crash in July that killed 40 people. Micro-bloggers led the charge in challenging rail officials' evasive accounts of the disaster.

Chinese state media have demanded that internet companies, regulators and police do more to cleanse websites of "toxic rumours".

China heavily filters the internet, and blocks popular foreign sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.