China’s porn crackdown: 225 sites, 4k channels and 30k blogs shut down

Finding online porn in China just got a little more difficult after authorities shut down 225 websites, 4 000 channels and columns and 30 000 blogs and microblogs which were accused of “disseminating obscene and vulgar information”.

The news broke courtesy of Chinese English-language newspaper the People’s Daily, via an official statement from the State Internet Information Office.

As The Next Web notes, it’s not entirely apparent why the office chose to differentiate between websites, channels and blogs, considering each of those could themselves be considered a website.

Chinese authorities have been fighting a long battle against online pornography, hardly surprising when you consider the bans it’s placed on Western sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Cracking down on porn doesn’t necessarily reflect authoritarian trends however. South Korea has a volunteer army, waging all out war on online pornography.

The so-called “Nuri Cops”, made up of around 800 people, spend hours at a time patrolling the internet for porn. They’re not deviants though. Pornography is illegal in South Korea — one of the most highly connected countries on the planet — and the Nuri spend their time helping government censors find illicit material.

Iceland meanwhile is also considering a ban on online pornography, although its citizens have expressed concerns about censorship.

“I can say with absolute certainty that this [state filter] will not happen,” Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir, a prominent advocate of online freedom told the Guardian.

The UK is also apparently set to follow suit.

Whether Iceland and the UK would be as vociferous in their porn bans as China is difficult to tell. For the most part however, they seem to want ISPs to block people from being able to view sites rather than actually shutting them down.

Read more …