Internet Porn Unleashed in China


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Despite the country’s intensive internet censorship and “filtering”, pornographic websites have recently become widely accessible in China

No Chinese officials, including those from departments specifically involved in the “great firewall of China”, have commented publicly on what’s behind the change, which a Beijing analyst tells the Associated Press is the first time net porn has become unblocked on a large scale in the country.

So far there seem to be at least five main theories:

  • Chinese authorities have had a change of heart and decided there’s no harm in pornography. This seems unlikely, though if it did relax attitudes, it might well be done without an official announcement.
  • There’s been a major technical screw-up. That’s possible, though it appears all other filtering, such as of political content critical of the Chinese government, is working as usual.
  • The government is trying to discover if allowing internet users to access porn more freely will distract them from seeking out anti-government content.
  • Officials are so tied up with monitoring social networking sites that they simply don’t have the resources to deal with porn as well.
  • A bureaucratic switch means a different agency is now responsible to porn monitoring and is, intentionally or otherwise, doing a worse job than its predecessor.

I’ve got my own theory, however. It appears that major international sites such as YouPorn and PornHub (think YouTube without content restrictions) are available in China now, but major Chinese-language porn sites are still blocked. This must surely indicate the Chinese government, keen to compete in the global economy, is trying to make sure the horny teenagers of today are the multi-lingual businessmen of tomorrow.





4 Responses to Internet Porn Unleashed in China

  1. This actually isn't too surprising to me. I always thought the PRC's attitude towards porn censorship was just plain ineffective. The amount of porn available on DVD in that country is staggering, so any attempt to protect the public by keeping it off of the internet was just plain silly.

  2. This actually isn’t too surprising to me. I always thought the PRC’s attitude towards porn censorship was just plain ineffective. The amount of porn available on DVD in that country is staggering, so any attempt to protect the public by keeping it off of the internet was just plain silly.