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China shuts down 60,000 porn sites and arrests 5,000 people
30 Aralık, 2010 | 17:52

China has shut down more than 60,000 pornographic websites this year and arrested 5,000 people as it steps up a campaign against obscene material.

Beijing has run a highly publicised drive against lewd online content which it claims is overwhelming the country’s internet and mobile phones and threatening the emotional health of children.

Critics have accused the Chinese government of deepening the crackdown, launched last December, and said censorship had blocked many sites with politically sensitive or even user-generated content.

Wang Chen, head of the State Council Information Office, said the offensive was vital.

‘Our campaign has been a great success and this has not been achieved easily,’ he said.

‘We have made the internet environment much cleaner than before as there was a lot of pornography available.

‘We have changed this situation and this has been well received by many sectors across society.

‘But our campaign has not come to a stop. This will be a long battle.

‘As long as there are people with bad motives who want to spread violent or pornographic information, we will have to continue our campaign to resolutely crack down on the spread of such information.’

Of the 4,965 suspects arrested, more than 1,300 received ‘criminal punishment’ – with 58 jailed for five years or more, Mr Wang said.

The government checked the content of 1.79million websites and deleted 350million pornographic and lewd articles, pictures and video footage.

With an estimated 450million internet users  – more than a third of the country’s population – China has a bigger online population than any other country.

It has blocked a number of popular websites, including Google’s YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and Facebook, as well as Chinese content sharing sites.

The communist government has accused them of carrying content harmful to China’s security and in breach of its laws, including images of protests in sensitive regions such as Tibet.

Mr Wang said he had seen media reports that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had visited the country.

He said: ‘We saw reports that he met with some well-known figures in China’s internet industry. We are also still trying to learn more about his visit to China.’

Google closed its China-based search service in March, two months after it said it would stop censoring search results in response to what it said was a sophisticated cyber attack that it traced to China.

The dispute was resolved in July after Google changed the way it directs users to an unfiltered search engine.

The case prompted a diplomatic row between China and the U.S. over web freedom.

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000 pornographic websites, 1, 300 received criminal punishment, 4, 450 million internet user, 58 jailed for five years, 60, 965 suspects arrest, arrest, Beijing, censorship, Facebook, Flickr, Google's YouTube, Mark Zuckerberg, State Council Information Office, Tibet, Twitter, Wang Chen,

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