On China's censorship and pornography

Censorship in China is alive and kicking but it may not always get it priorities straight.

Take for example the recent inauguration speech. A brief mention of communism by Obama was immediately sanctionned by a “mute” by CCTV – the channel broadcasting the event live.  By the same token foreign media sites (e.g., the New York Times or BBC) are routinely blocked for reasons that are not always clear.

It is therefore a surprise that the government seems intent to tackling the rise of online pornography in China only now. At the beginning of January, a number of government agencies banded together to “purify the Internet’s cultural environement and protect the healthy development of minors”. 19 search engine companies (among which Google and Baidu) were singled out for not doing enough in restricting search results. Toudou – China’s Youtube – was shut down for a full day as a warning. China’s anti-pornography drive will also include videos distributed via mobile electronic devices as well as cell phone shops that provide game, music and video downloads.

Don’t they say it is all about politics and sex?