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China to Crackdown on 'Vulgar' Content Sites

 2:23 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

China to Crackdown on 'Vulgar' Content Sites [uk.reuters.com]
China has launched a crackdown on websites as the country enters a politically sensitive year, with officials accusing search engines including Baidu and Google of spreading vulgarity.

A report on an official news website (www.china.com.cn) said repeated violators and those that had a "malign influence" might be exposed, punished or shut down.

China's Ministry of Public Security and six other government agencies announced the campaign at a meeting on Monday, state television reported, showing officials hauling digital equipment away from one unidentified office.



 2:46 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

No government in history ever really cared about #*$!, let alone 'vulgarity', so long as the tax is paid.

It's much more likely - as Wang suggests - that it's another assault on freedom of expression.

Now the Olympics are over, and the economy is suffering, it's time to crack down on dissent. And if they can turn over a few foreign companies too, then hey ho - business as usual.

I'll bet more blog hosts get closed down than #*$!ographers.


 3:01 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'll bet more blog hosts get closed down than #*$!ographers.

That's because #*$!ographers are vital to a well functioning society. Closing them down to have massive systemic risk.

In all seriousness though, it's so hard for me to imagine having to live in a country like that where you're freedom is constantly being striped away.

Assuming however that the Chinese themselves dislike being censored, then does exposing the "violators" not martyr them in some way?

China has been censoring things for quite some time now via "The China Firewall". Is there anything really new here?


 3:25 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Why am I not surprised?


 4:13 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Nothing new really. Saudi Arabia banned my website (a nice and clean website) several years ago and I did not even know until a researcher at MIT contacted me with the info. It has since been cleared. I am all for protecting children but I think what the Chinese (and the Saudis and many others) really want to do is to block political content. Vulgarity is just an euphemism. Sure, calling your president a moron, which we do everyday, can definitely be construed as vulgar.


 4:18 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

officials accusing search engines including Baidu and Google of spreading vulgarity

A classic case of "shoot the messenger" methinks.



 5:27 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

And to think that we're headed in that direction ... oh boy!


 6:28 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Lest we judge to harshly or too quickly, we - the democratic world - have passed through ages of slavery, legalized bigotry, age and gender discrimination, women as non-voting or second class citizens, child labor, union busting, monopolistic corporate power, the blacklists of the "Red scare", indefinite incarceration of "enemy combatants", elections based upon the politics of sound bites and fear, and so on.

I suspect greater freedom will find its way into Chinese culture.

Just not today.

Just like it didn't all fall into place in 1776 (Declaration of Independence) or 1787 (U.S. Constitution signed) or 1789 (1st 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, a/k/a The Bill of Rights signed) or 1954 (Brown vs. Board of Education, school desegregation) or 1965 (Voting Rights Act) or . .

[edited by: Webwork at 6:58 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2009]


 6:46 am on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Nope, for China (their government) truth = vulgarity and vulgarity = profit and never the twain shall meet.


 5:37 am on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is interesting how puritanism cuts across so many ideological boundaries. Yet there is one common link. despotism. wether it is religious (christian, islam, hindu), or political, it seems that vulgarity (usually meaning 'sex') is always abhorrent to totalitarian systems. In the USSR they even made playing cards (and especially cards with sexy pictures on the back) illegal. Communists in Italy declared sexuality in movies to be anti-revolutionary.

I have often wondered why. We see it in america very well. The 'leaders' most angered by sex are always the most authoritarian (further, they are often exposed as the greatest perpetrators of the things they rant against - witness the senator caught in the men's room!).

What is the link between jack-booted authoritarianism and sexual repression ? I think there is an undiagnosed psychosis here. One whose nature and 'modus operandi' is central to the misery of the human race down through the ages.

The more bellicose these creatures get, the closer we can be to discovering the facts of their derangement, and the closer we will get to a cure.

[edited by: commanderW at 5:42 am (utc) on Jan. 8, 2009]


 9:20 am on Jan 8, 2009 (gmt 0)

this should be interesting to watch...


 5:58 am on Jan 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Chines government should ban software but they can't ban on chines peoples thought or on his nature?


 2:07 am on Mar 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

As one close to the hosting business in China, I had first hand see and experience how all these actually plays out.

In the end, it is simply sad to see while one step takes the industry forward, 3 steps are taking it backwards.

I agree with webwork, I believe it will get better but just not today.

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