Thursday, April 19, 2007

Students Hope to be Away from Internet Porn

Bad Internet content harms students

Students around China have voiced welcome to a nationwide crack down on Internet pornography, a campaign launched by the Chinese government this month.

They knew they are an easily tempted group and some of them have already suffered from viewing too much unhealthy content from the Internet.

A secondary school student in Anhui was addicted to Internet porn and his grades suffered significantly. To pay for the fees he owed to an Internet cafe where he viewed those sites, he went so far as to steal machine parts from a factory.

Eighteen-year-old Beijing boy Liu Wei once had similar experience, and told Xinhua that he now hates those “dirty stuff” on the Internet.

Traditional media in China, including print and broadcast, are relatively clean of sexutal content because of tight control of the government, and no porn publication store is allowed in China.

In contrast, the Internet has become perhaps the freest media in China, both in terms of expressing people’s opinions as well as publishing conventionally deemed inappropriate or provocative contents such as exposing pictures.

Even on popular websites like, and, which are accessible to just about any Internet user, there are always a few sexually explicit video clips or photos on the home page, in entertainment section or blogs. Students can view such content easily, and if going to an Internet cafe, they can further log on to some porn sites without much effort and almost free of surveillance.

Setting up porn websites and publishing pornography on the Internet is illegal in China, but in recent years, there were several serious incidents where porn sites targeting viewers in China were registered on overseas servers, but those who ran the sites, for making money, were Chinese citizens, sometimes teenagers. Among about a million registers of these sites, most were Chinese youth, according to state media.

Statistics show that by June 2006, there were over 80 million adolescent web users in China, out of the total of 123 million, and about 30 million were elementary and secondary school students who are extremely vulnerable to Internet porn.

In addition, some young people got involved in the so-called “nude chat” on the Internet, using cameras. Lately, technology development allowed new channels for filthy content to reach students, such as porn video games downloaded to cell phones.

The government, schools and parents, including students themselves, have grown very concerned about the problem, but not enough has been done to cope with it.

In this crack-down campaign, which will last for six months, the authorities will “clean up” videos, photos or fictions on the Internet that contain pornographic content. Meanwhile, the authorities will also target online information that “disturbs social order,” as well as online forums, chat rooms and blogs that are deemed having grey area in “management responsibility.”

About the crack-down campaign

Other stories about Internet porn problem in China


Anonymous said...

While the porn pop-ups and other intrusive and offensive annoyances probably should be blocked by software or banned by sites, it seems that good old-fashioned self-control should be able to handle other "inappropriate content". Perhaps it's the responsibility of teachers and parents to show how to use the Internet as a tool for improvement and not just for wasting time. Maybe it's naive to trust people to judge for themselves in a place where critical thinking is so frowned upon (maybe officials do need to think for the populace), but I just don't trust anyone that blocks the BBC, Wikipedia, China Digital Times, and other relatively objective and inoffensive sites to regulate the flow of content. I imagine it will still be incredibly easy (or even unavoidable) to find porn after any campaign, while finding objective and "true" information about China will still be nearly impossible without proxies. (I should count my blessings, though--thank goodness blogspot is unblocked again!)

Anonymous said...

I just feel really upset that the mainstream websites in China, including Yahoo, MSN, Sohu, Sina, Chinaren, etc etc, would include explicit pictures and videos on their home pages! This is really shocking! I have never seen any mainstream websites in the US that are like this. I'm sure the US version of Yahoo is boring to death to a Chinese web surfer now. Even though the US gov't allows more freedom of expression than China, there will probably be protests among citizens if mainstream websites in the US start to include porn content on their homepages.