In the Loop

Does China really hate porn *that* much?

Posted at 12:08 PM on June 17, 2009 by Sanden Totten

Last week China announced plans to force all computers sold in it's borders to run an Internet filter called "Green Dam Youth Escort". Their reason? Not blocking political info . . . they say they are after porn.

Sure, plenty of people scoffed. Many said porn was just a cover for the Chinese government's real agenda of limiting access to controversial writing about Tibet or the communist regime. But we decided to ask an expert if perhaps China was telling the truth.

James Farrer is an academic who specializes in Chinese sex culture. He even wrote a book on the subject called Opening Up: Youth Sex Culture and Market Reform in Shanghai. He says yes, the Chinese government really does hate porn but they may have other motives too.

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Update! The filtering software will not be made mandatory on all computers. It looks like China caved to popular pressure. But the programs will still be included with every computer sold in the mainland, and it'll still be aiming to cut the porn from the Chinese web.

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