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Print 41 comment(s) - last by TheRagnarok.. on Jan 20 at 4:56 PM

Government officials want search engines to reduce the amount of porn they link to

The Chinese government launched a crackdown against internet adult pornographic content by requesting search engine companies reduce the amount of web sites linking to all sexual content.

Government officials criticized Google and China's Baidu search engines, along with 17 others, calling for them to aggressively filter all sexual content.  Companies that do not comply with the threat risk heavy fines or being booted out of China.

Pornography is illegal in China, but the content proliferates into the country as more Chinese citizens begin to get Internet access.  A woman last month was arrested after she reportedly posted an explicit video of herself on the internet.

A collection of seven agencies, including the Ministry of Public Security, have banded together in an effort "to purify the Internet's cultural environment and protect the healthy development of minors."  The China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center noticed that more web sites, including Google.cn, collects large amounts of links to pornographic web sites.

Baidu, Google -- the No. 2 search engine in China, trailing only Baidu -- NetEase, Sohu, and Sina were also named on the list created by the government.  Google doesn't attempt to censor pornographic search results or images in China, and uses an automatic filter and a red-flag system.

Search engines are expected to censor objectionable content, and then the government uses a massive Internet filtering system to eliminate material that slips through the cracks.  The Chinese government is well known for restricting and censoring internet content to its 253 million Internet users throughout the country.  

China's efforts to "control and censor the internet, and the government had tightened restrictions on freedom of speech and the domestic press" has increased, a U.S. State Department report published last year.

Intelligence analysts wondered if this small crackdown on porn content will lead to a bigger internet crackdown in the future.



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Hmmm
By Crysalis99 on 1/6/2009 10:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
You know, I really am sort of split on issues such as this. On one hand, it is total censorship. Censorship is just wrong. We should be able to express ourselves however we want, even if it is sexually. Look at Hugh Hefner, made a very very wealthy and great lifestyle off of sex from Playboy. But China has always been pro-censorship on just about anything. I don't blame the Chinese for wanting to come to America.

But on the other hand, Just like comedian Mitch Fatel joked about, you type in a simple term like Ice-Cream, you probably could find naughty sites involving women and Ice-Cream.

If there could be a way to limit just how searches worked in general, to distinguish a little bit better. Better search algorithms perhaps, or perhaps putting a tag on all adult content and with each search engines have an option on where it will pick up all those tags. So that way it is in the users control still but yet, if you want to do a simple search, you get stuff non-sexual related.




RE: Hmmm
By cubby1223 on 1/6/2009 11:01:58 PM , Rating: 2
That was the basic idea behind the .xxx domain suffix that I forget why that failed to go through.


RE: Hmmm
By kattanna on 1/7/2009 3:21:28 PM , Rating: 2
if failed to go through because to many conservative religious people complained to bush that it would increase the presence of sex on the internet, like thats possible.

though.. theres also the possibility that if .xxx was started and all porn sites had to move to only be on .xxx domains, it would make censoring the internet to "protect the children" all to easy so that the government wouldnt have to get involved and then also make their censorship plans all that more transparent to the public in mass.

but thats me.. and my opnion.


RE: Hmmm
By LumbergTech on 1/7/2009 1:58:25 AM , Rating: 2
the problem with your idea about putting a tag on them is that it is difficult to define pornography without getting into censorship..


RE: Hmmm
By Guyver on 1/7/2009 10:46:06 AM , Rating: 3
You're thinking like an American.

Even the Bible is censored over there by having a Chinese Communist version much like a King James version. In reality, in a communist country the government is the religion which is pretty much atheism. Any other philosophy essentially challenges the Communist government. And before I get flamed, I'm not religious so I'm not picking on atheists. People who actually and openly practice a religion by the way the religion dictates gets arrested over there. You either do it the government's way or you don't do it at all.

The censorship goes a long ways back. When Mao reinvented the Chinese alphabet to go from traditional Chinese characters to simplified Chinese characters, he dramatically reduced the illiteracy rate in China.... however, his ulterior motive was to make every Chinese person in the country unable to read Chinese text written 100 years ago. Why? Because classical Chinese philosophy flies in the face of Communist doctrine (much like any religion).

Unlike you or I who can pick up a book written in English 100+ years ago and actually read it (even though we may not comprehend all of it), a Chinese person from China cannot read anything written in traditional Chinese.

Either way, censoring the Internet is just an extension of what Mao started a long time ago.


RE: Hmmm
By Crysalis99 on 1/7/2009 10:56:20 AM , Rating: 2
Too much like an American? Guess so...

Chinese politics, culture and history was never my interest. Japan's was. So yeah I don't get this nearly as well as other things. Hell, to be honest, aside from learning about the very limited view of communism in High School. Politics and history aren't really my thing.

Any rate, I see what you are saying.


RE: Hmmm
By Dreifort on 1/7/2009 11:56:57 AM , Rating: 2
China has regualary used Yahoo to also sniff out any website owners who post anti-communist comments.

Yahoo has a whole crusade against them by many activist groups for supporting the arrest and torture of free-minded Chinese citizens. (one example is booyahoo.com)


RE: Hmmm
By garbageacc3 on 1/18/09, Rating: -1
RE: Hmmm
By TheRagnarok on 1/20/2009 4:56:36 PM , Rating: 2
Lol?, Crazin Asian?


RE: Hmmm
By mindless1 on 1/10/2009 12:12:43 AM , Rating: 2
If you only enter "ice cream" it should return a certain # of hits involving sexual uses of ice-cream just as it returns an appropriate # of non-sexual hits.

If you do a simple non-specific search you should expect, and should rightly get everything under the sun that pertains to the search terms. That you want to have this limit is in itself a form of self-imposed censorship, it should not be a matter of singling out sexuality to block from search hits, any more so than blocking out any other popular use for ice-cream.

Even so, a search engine should seek to properly bias the results instead of allowing efforts of 3rd parties to infiltrate the search hits by forethought to raise their hit ratio.


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