News24

China shuts over 60 000 porn sites

2010-12-30 12:30

Beijing - China shut down more than 60 000 pornographic websites this year, netting almost 5 000 suspects in the process, a government spokesperson said on Thursday, vowing no let-up in its campaign against material deemed obscene.

Beijing has run a highly publicised drive against what officials said was smutty and lewd content overwhelming the country's internet and cellphones, threatening the emotional health of children.

Critics accuse the Chinese government of deepening the crackdown, launched last December, and tightening overall censorship, and say that the push has netted many sites with politically sensitive or even simply user-generated content.

But Wang Chen, head of the State Council Information Office, or cabinet spokesperson's office, said the offensive was vital.

"Our campaign has been a great success and this has not been achieved easily," he told a news conference. "We have made the internet environment much cleaner than before as there was a lot of pornography available," he said.

Jail time


"We have changed this situation and this has been well received by many sectors across society," Wang said. "But our campaign has not come to a stop. This will be a long battle.

"As long as there are people with bad motives who want to spread violent or pornographic information, we will have to continue our campaign to resolutely crack down on the spread of such information."

Of the 4 965 suspects, 1 332 people received "criminal punishment" with 58 jailed for five years or more, Wang said.

The government checked the content of 1.79 million websites and deleted 350 million pornographic and lewd articles, pictures and pieces of video footage, he said.

With an estimated 450 million internet users as of the end of November, China has a bigger online population than any other country. Yet the government worries the internet could become a dangerous conduit for threatening images and ideas.

China has blocked a number of popular websites and internet services, including Google's YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook, as well as Chinese content sharing sites.

The government accused them of carrying content harmful to China's security and in breach of Chinese laws, including images of protests in sensitive regions such as Tibet.

Search results

Wang said he had seen media reports that Facebook's chief Mark Zuckerberg had visited China recently, but said Zuckerberg had not met his department, which oversees the internet in China.

"We saw reports that he met with some well-known figures in China's internet industry. We are also still trying to learn more about his visit to China," he added.

Google Inc, the world's top internet search engine, closed its China-based search service in March, two months after it said it would stop censoring search results in response to what it said was a sophisticated cyber attack that it traced to China and increasing limits on freedom of expression.

The dispute was resolved in July after Google changed the way it directs users to an unfiltered search engine. The case prompted a diplomatic row between China and the US over web freedom.

Comments
  • Say-my-say - 2010-12-30 15:47

    I think China should help SA with our porn problem!

  • ArtGee - 2010-12-30 16:17

    So... WANKING is the Capital of CHINA!

      Rod - 2011-01-31 11:55

      You wanker....JOKE

  • psheldon@24.com - 2010-12-30 18:00

    Say-my-say. What porn problem?I have yet to come across any SA porn sites. See, I don't search for them, I don't go looking for them, therefore what problem? News24, and MyBroadband.co.za don't (thank heavens) advertise them. Point is, IF i was interested who are you or anyone else to stop me? If I say you can't do this or that (eg goto church, if you are so inclined) how would you feel?

  • Sluggo - 2010-12-31 06:12

    GO CHINA!

  • Jakkals911 - 2010-12-31 07:47

    Well done! Pity the Western world does not follow china's example to shut down all the filthy smut doing the rounds on the internet and cellphones. Rape has become a national sport in Africa - one often reads about rape in African states being used as a 'weapon of war' and as for child pornography - a worldwide problem that is even worse and deserves the death sentence, regardless!!! Two choices what to do with rapists - either put them to death, which will not really reduce the crime figures, but castrating them in public without aid of anaesthetics and branding the word "RAPIST/CHILD MOLESTER" on his forehead with a hot iron on his forehead and letting him loose among the public will ensure that others will think twice before ever attempting to rape anyone... FLIES CARRY DISEASE - KEEP YOURS CLOSED!!!

      zebby - 2010-12-31 09:54

      In the same vein it's a real pity that the state doesn't shut down all religion and freedom of choice. We would be able to stop all those crusades, Spanish inquisitions, genocides, Jihad's etc. Can you imagine the bliss without some high collared SOB telling me how to live my life and give money to some imaginary deity? Hell why stop there, make sex illegal except for procreation, define the clothes I have to wear each day, the colour of my house.........

  • swessels1 - 2011-01-03 12:05

    Doing one thing right doesn't make the country cool. In China they prosecute Christians that don't belong to there Church

      Rod - 2011-01-31 11:55

      I think all religions should be outlawed. They all have brought on hatred and pain to the world

  • smscott4 - 2011-01-31 10:55

    there's no such thing as pornography, there is only art, if you like it, watch it, if you don't like, click the mouse button, if you don't want your kids seeing it, talk to them and explain why, their not idiots.

  • Rod - 2011-01-31 11:58

    Democracy is about to fail. Too many politicians and loafers creaming our taxes. I have some Chinese tenants in my building. I asked them why they are in South Africa. They all say they are here to make money and then go back to China. I asked why go back to a one party state....They say its better there.....Interesting hey

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