Chinese authorities have banned 1,414 works of online literature on the grounds that it was pornographic in a nationwide campaign to eradicate "lewd" contents from the internet. This is from the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP). And it is pushing water up hill.
Try this simple test. Type "erotic" as a search term into Google. You will get over 56 million results. Some of the taking the meaning of the word "erotic" to the wilder shores of love.
So although GAPP has closed about 30,000 web links to the banned works and 20 online literature websites we are talking here of the labors of Hercules, although GAPP has organized 50 experts. It took them about nine months — appropriate gestation period — to decided what were bannable sites. At that rate of progress we are looking at several hundred years of work lying ahead of them.
GAPP said the banned works either "included pornographic content", "used provocative or privacy-violating titles to draw attention", or "blatantly talked about one-night stands, wife swapping, sex abuses, and violence that disregarded common decency". Which gives it a fairly wide scope.
The administration will also establish laws and regulations on the publishing of literature online. In fact, there is an argument that if it is literature, it should not be censored. The question is who defines what is literature?
The move is the latest in a string of drives to crack down on pornographic and lewd content on the internet.
China View reports that in June, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center (CIIRC) "strongly condemned" Google’s Chinese portal for providing what the agency said were links to pornography and lewd information that violated national regulations.
The search engine giant swiftly pledged that it would take all necessary steps to clean up pornographic search results in its Chinese-language portal, Google.cn. It has an uphill task ahead of it.