Experts Blast China's Ban on Internet Porn

Jun 12, 2011 12:00 PM PST

BEIJING — China’s continued efforts to ban Internet porn is becoming increasingly ineffective, according to some experts.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has reported that China’s ban on 43 porn novels is “an inadequate response in a world where the Internet is only increasing its power.”

China's actions illustrate its fear that the Internet can be used for subversive tactics like stirring political dissent and corrupting Chinese morals.

Professor Li Yin He, from the Institute of Sociology at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told Radio Australia's Connect Asia there are many government employees working to censor the material.

"They check every day, every page, and they also have a hotline to ask general people to report when [they] see any pornography on the internet," she said.

"And if the man is arrested you can get some reward."

Yin He said that while filters should be used to restrict access to children, adults should not be barred.

"My view on this problem is I think adults should have the right to read and look at pornography, all kind of material," she said.

Colin Jacobs, the chairman of Electronic Frontiers Australia, although agreeing that porn is not suitable for children, told ABC that Internet censorship is not going to work.

He said that instead of filtering the Internet, supervision and education of the young is important.

"Especially as children get older, we are going to have to accept that they will be able to seek out and find information that we think are undesirable. It could be pornography or it could be hate speech or whatever,” Jacobs said.

He added, "And so the answer is going to have to be make sure that the children are educated properly so that they have the countervailing point of view, so that they have the positive influences."

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