China Shuts Porn 62 Sites

April 11, 2011
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China Shuts Porn Sites

China Shuts Porn Sites

It has been reported that China has shut down 62 websites on the grounds that they are disseminating pornographic materials. The Information Office of the State Council has shut the sites because they contained and distributed “pornographic pictures, videos and ads.”

The websites were not just limited to being straight porn servers, they were also accused of being used to provide “nude video chat” and facilitating prostitution. The websites were registered across 125 provinces though it is unclear if they were all registered to a small group of individuals or 15 different people.

This “crack-down” may be linked to the campaign started by the Chinese government in 2009 to try and stem the increase in online pornographic content from within mainland China.

The Information Office seems to be pretty pleased with itself, stating it has already “curbed” Internet pornography in China; though it did go on to say that “the campaign will be a hard battle.”

It is difficult to tell if this is a real triumph on the part of the Chinese authorities in their crusade to protect the youth of the nation from the evils of pornography. On the one hand it is inconceivable that a country of 1.1 billion people has only a handful of porn sites and smut peddlers within it. Surely this “triumph” of regulation shutting down five dozen domains is a drop in the porn ocean? In any other country it might be we have to remember that China’s Internet is very closely regulated so maybe there is not the opportunity for porn sites to proliferate as they have done in the west.

Draconian measures such as Chinas zero tolerance to anything (pornographic or otherwise) that they see as damaging to their society could be seen as benevolent authoritarianism. Until that is you look at the consequences.

Other governments are trying to come to terms with the Internet and work out ways of squeezing out the dangerous, exploitative and depraved content on the Web without pushing all adult sites underground. All but the most idiotic and right-wing legislators realise that making something illegal doesn’t stop it, it just pushes it outside the regulatory framework and leaves those involved in it (especially the little people) open to abuse by the more powerful – often organised criminals. There is a need for sexual gratification which is often achieved through pornography and because the need is so primal legislating against it will not stop people seeking it out.

We all want to protect our children from damaging influences but sexuality is not in itself a sin unless society’s attitudes make it so. Education is the key to ensuring that our children grow up as sexually healthy individuals. Prohibition doesn’t work.

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