The Chinese government threatened to block 19 websites unless objectionable material was removed. Its warnings were not heeded so now it’s taken down 91.
From the original list of 19 sites earmarked by China that have “failed to heed requests to get rid of unsuitable material,” the big names (Google, MSN and Baidu) still stand, but there’s been a lot of fallout.
The 91 websites were taken offline due to their “pornography and vulgar content”; but this also includes Bullog.cn, a Chinese blog portal, which has been down since Friday.
Luo Yonghao, the founder of Bullog.cn, cited a notice from the Government saying that his website had been closed because of the “amount of political harmful information”.
The state-run Chinese portal, however, paints a different picture.
On Monday, a month long siege by the “Special Operation Office for Crackdown on online Porn and Lewd Content” began. The original 19 websites “posted online apologies after accusations of being slow to delete porn and lewd content or links to pornographic sites.” (This includes Google and Baidu)
By Thursday, this had risen to 91 sites from the original “33” that were named and shamed, as public distribution of pornography is illegal in China.
Whether it was 33 named and 19 apologized, or 19 shamed, I don’t think we’ll ever know. Opinions differ depending on who is asked.
However, with Europe, America and Australia putting their own ‘clean up’ squad to work, the whole world has to be watching how this plays out.