China Closes 91 Sites in Crackdown on Online Adult Content

Jan 12, 2009 11:00 AM PST
BEIJING — Chinese officials have furthered their crackdown on online adult content by shutting down a total of 91 websites containing “vulgar” and “harmful” material in less than a week.

The ruling Communist Party was reported to have shut down 41 websites, including Bullog.cn, a blog-hosting site well known in China for its social and political commentary, on Friday, and an additional 50 websites on Sunday.

The Special Operation Office for Crackdown on Online Porn and Lewd Content announced that “the blocked sites have violated the top legislature’s regulations and other laws regarding public distribution of sexual images,” according to the Times of India.

Details on the permanence of the closures, as well as the names of most of the blocked websites, have not been released.

The Chinese government began its month-long effort to “purify” the Internet last Monday by blasting a total of 33 websites, including Google China, Microsoft’s MSN China and popular Chinese search engine Baidu, for containing material that harms “public morality.” All blacklisted websites were warned to remove such content under threat of closure. Many of the websites, including Baidu and Google, which “is willing to be a law-abiding citizen in China,” according to a company statement, have issued apologies and taken steps to remove the content under question.

Officials have warned that tougher measures would come in the following days, but have not elaborated on the nature of such measures, according to a report issued by the Xinhua news agency.

“There are still some websites that are not doing enough,” the report said. “Relevant government departments are now thoroughly checking and further raising the strength of the cleanup.”

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