Friday, December 14, 2012

Porn, the thriving force on China's internet - Tricia Wang

Tricia Wang
Tricia Wang
Most of China's internet users are not looking for politics, but porn. The authorities have tried to ban porn, but sociologist Tricia Wang sees in the country's internet cafe's how porn is driving the business, she reports in Makeshift. The governmental whack-a-mole chase for online illegality. 

Tricia Wang:
Lao Bing is doing what most males at the Internet cafe are doing, have done, or will be doing later on that night—searching for porn. Users across the world are drawn to this corner of the infobahn; some estimate that porn accounts for a full third of Internet bandwidth. 
But finding porn in China isn’t as easy as finding a movie. Like the fleeting urges they inspire in viewers, sites regularly pop up and quickly fade away from the ethereal glow of the screen. The continuing hunt speaks to the drive for openness in its various forms. 
The foreigner’s image of China often includes Communist Party officials using censorship tools to prevent citizens from accessing and spreading political messages. We don’t think of people like Lao Bing, chilling in a room with hundreds of males looking at porn. 
Authorities have capriciously enforced a pornography ban since 1949. But when China connected itself to the World Wide Web in 1994, authorities found themselves with a new challenge: censoring the relentless availability of pornographic websites. 
Over the last 18 years, police stations have staged assemblies warning youth of the dangers of porn and the Internet. Anti-pornography posters with cartoon figures of school boys are in practically every cyber cafe. Announcements of large sting operations closing down tens of thousands of pornography sites at a time are routine. 
A few times a year, the government-controlled media reports large-scale arrests of pornography site administrators. Looming in their collective memory is the 2005 life sentence of Chen Hui, who ran the nation’s largest site. But all the denunciations, moral policing, and incarcerations have not deterred a nation of males (the gender ratio at birth is about 120 males to 100 females) from porn consumption.
More in Makeshift.

Tricia Wang is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers' request form.

Tricia Wang will be speaking in New Zealand in the second week of February 2013. Are you interested in having her as a speaker too? Do get in touch for her availability and conditions.
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