Feeds

China's censors move to stamp out sex and violence online

Save the children from the Grass Mud Horse!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

China’s shadowy army of government censors have turned their attention to online video with strict new guidelines set to further curb freedom of expression on the internet.

The State Internet Information Office and State Administration of Radio Film and Television (SARFT) said in a statement that they want to stamp out “vulgar content”, including pornography and “scenes of bloody violence”.

Unusually for China’s censors, the departments claim that they are reacting to both industry and public pressure to clamp down on inappropriate content, in order “to protect young people's physical and mental health in accordance with the law”.

As with regulation of other online content, the government’s approach here is to ask online video sites to self-censor, screening content they produce before hitting ‘publish’ and holding them responsible if anything undesirable gets through.

However, there are no details in the statement about exactly what constitutes “vulgar” content – the ambiguity here being key to allowing censors to stamp out anything they don’t like the look of.

As David Bandurski of the University of Hong Kong explained on the China Media Project blog, SARFT is also requiring online video programmes to “adhere to correct guidance”.

“[This is] a lynchpin propaganda policy that suggests control of not just vulgar or indecent content, but also of content that in the broadest sense goes against the policies, aims or ‘spirit’ of the ruling Party,” he said.

Sites like market leader Youku, which recently bought smaller rival Tudou, are increasingly producing their own “micro films” and online video series, which is what this directive appears to be targeted at.

There is no mention of user generated content, but holding these video sites responsible for self-censorship will put a huge financial burden on them – one that the likes of web giants Sina and Tencent have already been forced to face up to. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.