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Chinese netizens call for extension of anti-porn crackdown
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09:03, February 17, 2009

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Chinese netizens want to extend an anti-porn campaign to schools and campuses in an effort to protect young people from erotic materials.

In a Monday meeting, which was organized by the Beijing Association of Online Media, a non-profit government-sponsored organization, 15 participants, all randomly-selected netizens, urged authorities to incorporate Internet ethics and legal education into school curriculum.

An official with the Beijing Internet management office, a local Internet regulator, who attended the meeting and required anonymity, told Xinhua that "authorities will seriously consider the feasibility of those ideas".

Participants also hailed China's online campaign against pornography and erotic materials, which was launched in early January by seven government agencies, including the State Council's Information Office and the ministries of Public Security and Culture.

Netizen Wei Xing said Internet pornography's influence on young people was twofold: they might be hurt by online criminal activities such as swindling and sexual harassment; pornography and "lewd" materials have gradual and long-term negative impact on their growth.

Peng Yong, another netizen, suggested the promotion of positive online activities for young people to ward off the influence of pornography and obscene contents.

Public distribution of pornography is illegal in China. Since the government campaign started, search engines including Google, Baidu and MSN China were blacklisted for providing obscene content and being too slow to delete erotic materials.

The anti-porn campaign later extended to mobile phone games, online novels, blogs, videos, radio programs, cell phone Web sites, chat rooms and instant messenger groups.

According to the China Internet Network Information Center, the country's Internet users hit 298 million by the end of 2008, overtaking the U.S. as the nation with the world's largest online population.

Of those users, about 108 million are under 19 years old, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.

Source: Xinhua

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