Healthy virtual world for Chinese minors

09:18, November 23, 2009      

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With the Internet in reach to all who have access to computers, never has pornography posed such a great harm to the healthy growth of minors. The news that another 41 Internet portals transmitting pornographic information have been closed not only points to what we have achieved in this year's campaign against Internet pornographic content. It also sends the message that continuous efforts must be in place to guard against their comeback.

As early as in 2004, national regulations were released to prohibit Internet portals from providing pornographic content. The action that started in October this year has already closed hundreds of portals and deleted thousands of Internet pages that carry pornographic contents.

It is illegal to spread pornographic information among the public in this country. The fact that thousands of tip-offs were received within months after the campaign was launched in 2004 testifies that the action against pornographic content on the Internet is in the interest of the majority of residents.

Statistics show that the number of Internet users reached 360 million in China by October this year, accounting for 27 percent of the total population. There are as many as more than 3 million Internet portals in the country.

Doubtless, the Internet has increasingly become one of the most important ways of communication and information transmission. But at the same time, it has become the easiest way of transmitting pornographic information including photos and videos, and online sex trade. And through this media, pornographic content can reach an unimaginably large number of Internet users, many of whom are minors.

There are instances of minors committing such crimes as rape after viewing online pornography. And some minors just cannot concentrate on their studies after repeatedly viewing pornographic photos or videos online. That is why many parents worry that their children may be led astray by unhealthy content on the Internet. If only for the sake of providing a healthy online environment for minors, the campaign to crack down on online pornography has the support of the majority of the general public.

Yet, however hard the governments at various levels have tried in the past years, it is not easy to root out such illegal content once for all. It is because of the huge gains from such dirty business that has lured some to take the risk.

Of the 41 Internet portals closed most recently, 13 did not even register before they provided service online. And some Internet access service providers do not check the uploaded content to which they provide Internet access, and some have received money to provide access even when they know they are dealing with pornography.

We cannot rule out the possibility of pornographic portals staging a comeback when the crackdown efforts slacken unless we find ways to make it impossible for these portals and content providers to make money by uploading unhealthy content on the Internet.

That is where our efforts in the crackdown should be.

Source:China Daily

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