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Wednesday, December 04, 2002

I'm More Corrupting Than Pornography-Interesting Harvard study on what web-sites China blocks
They found that Beijing actively polices content on the web, intermittently blocking some general-interest high-profile sites whose content changes frequently, such as the tech website Slashdot. There also seemed to be an ambivalent attitude to porn on the net. The researchers found that China blocked just 13.4% of their sample of well-known sexually explicit sites. "Blocking of such sites as Playboy and Penthouse suggests a purposeful decision to restrict sexually explicit material," said the researchers. "Yet the well-known sites of Hustler Magazine and whitehouse.com were consistently accessible." Most of the material blocked were sites offering information about news, health, education, and entertainment, as well as thousands of sites from Taiwan.
It's been a couple of decades since I read such things, but Playboy and Penthouse would have a political libertarian world-view to their articles, while Hustler was largely apolitical (can't vouch for whitehouse-that wasn't around in my youth). That would indicate that sex doesn't bother the Communist government, but libertarian writing does. If someone is spending their free time on porn, they're less likely to be organizing protests against the regime. They want the Chinese public to be happy, distracted and apolitical. My blog, which like most of Blogspot is blocked by Chinese screening, is more dangerous than porn, since it might make them political.

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