China Clamps Down on Porn Microblogs, Websites

Mar 13, 2012 7:00 AM PST

BEIJING — The Chinese government’s war on porn websites ramped up again yesterday as the country shuttered 225 microblog accounts and punished 154 website operators for distributing obscene content.

The Xinhua News said most of the blogs were carried on Sina Corp's Weibo and — two high traffic Twitter-like services.

"The office has urged various local governments to fulfill their duty in strengthening the supervision on websites and, especially, microblog services that are registered in their region," the State Internet Information Office said in a statement.

"Among these sites, some that were set up without official approval have already been closed, and others, which are being operated with a license, were ordered to erase all obscene content," it added.

The agency did not divulge any details on how the 154 nabbed operators were punished.

Beginning March 16, the government will strictly enforce a microblog rule that requires users to register with their real identities.

The country already filters and blocks popular social media sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

But the censorship is only the beginning. Chinese state media reportedly has demanded that Internet companies, regulators and police do more to cleanse websites of "toxic rumors."

The country is also offering cash bounty to any citizen that snitches on porn websites and has already had more than 1 million sites reported.

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