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China Makes Arrests To Stop Internet Porn

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the hope-you've-got-a-lot-of-jails dept.

The Internet 204

thefickler writes "The Chinese Government is expanding a crackdown on Internet pornography. Xinhua news agency, which is owned by the government and can safely be used for reporting in China, says the campaign to scrub the country's Internet of 'vulgar' content has so far resulted in 29 criminal cases. Police have ordered the removal of 46,000 pornographic and other 'harmful' items from websites. The latest crackdown comes after official warnings of rising social unrest as the economy slows. It's no coincidence that this year is the twentieth anniversary of Tiananmen Square, or, to use the acceptable nomenclature, 'the June 4th incident.'"

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What for? (4, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494605)

OK, I understand why they would want to choke civil unrest by censoring dissidents online, but porn? How's that helping them?

Re:What for? (5, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494667)

Considering their overpopulation problem do they really want to discourage wanking? This seems very counter-productive to me.

Re:What for? (5, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494723)

Indeed. What the Chinese government really needs to give to its people is porn, addictive dumb reality TV shows, food and booze. You feel less angry after a good wanking, you'll forget why you were angry in the first place when you'll cross your fingers for Wang Wang to be the next Chinese Idol, a full stomach and some booze will finish knocking you out.

Re:What for? (0, Redundant)

BillOfThePecosKind (1140837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494809)

lol. seriously.

Re:What for? (2, Interesting)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495061)

Go watch idiocracy.

Making people stupider does not help population size.

Re:What for? (4, Insightful)

HadouKen24 (989446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495205)

Ah, yes, Idiocracy. You make a compelling argument.

Forget factors like poverty, education of women, and social expectations. It's being stupid that drives up the birth rate.

And I know that because a movie told me so.

Re:What for? (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495457)

Ah, yes, Idiocracy. You make a compelling argument.

Forget factors like poverty, education of women, and social expectations. It's being stupid that drives up the birth rate.

And I know that because a movie told me so.

Oh, snap!

Re:What for? (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495537)

Forget factors like poverty, education of women, and social expectations. It's being stupid that drives up the birth rate.
 

In either case, the whole point of the movie is that evolution favours those that breed the most.

So by your definition you eventually wind up with a population full of poor people with badly educated women and no social expectations. Similar net result, different cause.

Re:What for? (3, Insightful)

HadouKen24 (989446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495699)

That is, in fact, the situation we're in today, and it's only getting worse. The birthrate is highest in countries like Pakistan and India, especially. (I was referring, by the by, to social expectations that people have large families, if possible.) The biggest problem for everyone, though, isn't the risk of a world dominated by poor people who mistreat their women, but a world in which overpopulation leads to serious negative environmental impacts and a population crash.

Fortunately, the impact of poverty, education, and social norms on population growth can be mitigated. And of those three, the one with the biggest impact--education for women--is the easiest to deal with. There's a tremendous drop in the birth rate with available birth control and only a primary school education for women.

Re:What for? (0)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496879)

In the U.S. public schooling doesn't decrease pregnancy rates - it increases it. Suddenly your average teen finds him or herself surrounded by lots of other horny teens, and the opportunity to make babies.

The pregnancy rates among homeschooled teens is much, much lower.

Re:What for? (1)

izomiac (815208) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496771)

Hmm... it seems that being stupid could cause all of those factors. That's not saying poor people are stupid, just that stupid people are likely to be poor (separating a fool from his money and all). Ditto for people strongly buying into social expectations and women who don't feel the need to be educated.

Re:What for? (4, Interesting)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495675)

What the Chinese government really needs to give to its people is porn, addictive dumb reality TV shows, food and booze.

You've never watched CCTV [wikipedia.org] have you? They run 18 channels of pure shit 24/7. Soap operas, inane stock-character comedies that just drag on for hours (which I admit might be funnier if I were a native speaker) and news that tells you the exact same trivial things three times an hour. On other channels there are some form of reality shows and all the mind numbing goodness you'd expect in the west.

Food is a huge part of China, Sure, the rural poor may be living off bowls of congee but if anything the urban middle class generally eat far more lavishly than those of western countries with both dishes, more exotic ingredients, more complex preparation and larger portions (even KFC's menu is roughly double its normal size).

As for booze, everyone should try Tsing Tao or Harbin beer when over there. It just costs a few RMB, comes in massive bottles and due to its sparse flavor you can keep drinking it and drinking it and be thoroughly drunk well before your mouth feels like you've been drinking beer. If you ordering, make sure you pronounce "Tsing Tao" as "Tchingdao" and emphasize the "r" in Harbin or they won't know what you are asking for.

Anyway, I'm not going to do any further analysis here, apart from mentioning that the Chinese government is not stupid in these matters and has probably realised the exact same thing as you and most western governments have.

Re:What for? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495975)

Hehe, interesting. What's up with that porn censor thing though then?

Re:What for? (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496269)

Yeah, seriously!!!

They could improve their image worldwide AND become more efficient in their repression by using your suggestion, (which henceforth shall be referred to as "The American Model."

Re:What for? (0)

gnarlin (696263) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496273)

Oh, you mean the USA method then.

Re:What for? (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496893)

Perhaps the Chinese have suddenly turned Christian. It certainly sounds like something Pat Robertson or other fundamentalists would say:

"the campaign to scrub the country's Internet of 'vulgar' content"

Re:What for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26496929)

In America, every time someone masturbates a kitten dies. In China everytime someone masturbates an endangered species goes extinct.

Re:What for? (5, Funny)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494721)

Chinese porn stars have a habit of yelling out antigovernment slogans as they finish. Sounds weird to us, but consider some of the foul words they use in American porn, it's not that strange.

political porn ... mmm a new subtree (4, Funny)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495035)

Id like to see that in a porn film, the girl yelling out, "freedom to all, death to taxes, no riaa, get rid of older 50yos in govt!!!, release all aliens info"

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (5, Funny)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495107)

Maybe they do. I've never watched a porn film through to the end.

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (4, Funny)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495285)

Don't you usually skip to the end when you're ready to finish? ...or is that just me?

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (4, Funny)

1001011010110101 (305349) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495853)

Only if you get off on credits

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26496597)

Don't you usually skip to the end when you're ready to finish? ...or is that just me?

Sounds gay to me - what straight guy wants to watch some other guy blow his load?

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (1)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496933)

Well, women do, if only to find out whether they marry or not in the end...

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495207)

Id like to see that in a porn film, the girl yelling out, "freedom to all, death to taxes, no riaa, get rid of older 50yos in govt!!!, release all aliens info"

Porn actresses rarely share the same agenda as libertarian Slashdotters, you know? ;-)

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495331)

So are libertarian Slashdotters betraying their principles when watching porn?

Or is it just that they are wankers?

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495503)

Sure, if one of your principles is to avoid anything produced by anyone who doesn't strictly adhere to your beliefs and principles.

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496325)

Only if they paid for it.

Re:political porn ... mmm a new subtree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26497021)

t n a, 50 euros!

Re:What for? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495739)


I don't know whether to believe that or not. I could see how in a culture without the same Judeo-Christian moral foundation and with a restrictive government, that anti-government rhetoric takes the niche of obscene talk away from sexual words. It's a hilarious idea, scary if real. citation?

Re:What for? (5, Insightful)

patro (104336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494759)

Probably the keyword is: control. They can't leave something in the hands of people (no pun :) over which they don't have control.

Loosing control in one area of society (namely sex) leaves the door open for loosening up in other areas.

That's why dictators try to control everything.

Re:What for? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495183)

They can't leave something in the hands of people (no pun :) over which they don't have control.

well, they could at least have the common courtesy to give them a reach-around then...

Re:What for? (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494781)

I don't understand comrade. You do want to do what's best for your countrymen don't you? Or are you questioning us?

1984 (1)

socha23 (1137849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495595)

"The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now."

Yeah, I know Orwell wasn't writing about internet porn, but still...

Re:1984 (1)

TheTurtlesMoves (1442727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496515)

I prefer the Iain Banks Culture universe, where they have enhanced the orgasm and made it possible to have a lot more of them in a given time.

I wonder what treatment the neurologists would pick. ;)

I wonder how much of the P0rn in china is streaming directly too government computers?

Re:What for? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495779)

OK, I understand why they would want to choke civil unrest by censoring dissidents online, but porn? How's that helping them?

I have no idea if it is the case here, but it could be a moral issue. Like "Porn is just wrong.". Isn't that why people usually object to porn?

Re:What for? (1)

5865 (104259) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496143)

"So the sage's governing methods are:
Emptying the mind, Vitalizing the stomach,
Softening the will, Strengthening the character."

- Tao Te Ching, Chapter 3:2

Maybe they think porn ruins a person's character? Though I think it's more applicable to the "Softening the will" part.

Re:What for? (2, Informative)

aeroswift (1347955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496271)

Reputation, I suppose. After the whole Muzimei fiasco, I frankly am not surprised.

But I don't think it's going to work. China's had a pornography problem ever since it's had the internet. If you've ever visited Chinese websites (I'm Chinese so I know), even the mainstream news websites are plastered with 18+ advertisements. Needless to say, it's a bit late to start fixing the problem, eh?

Think Of The Children? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496921)

Maybe it's similar to the kind of push we get here -- porn is seen as immoral, and is a natural scapegoat, so no one minds censoring it. From there, it's easy to justify censoring whatever you want -- after all, it does say "other 'harmful' items..."

Now, granted, the US is at least only censoring child porn, so far, which we can all agree on, right? And swear words, now, in South Carolina, if that bill passes -- which we can all agree on, right? See how slippery the slope is?

Why? (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494609)

What morals or principles are the Chinese government claiming to enforce with this?

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

Plutonite (999141) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494769)

Modesty and sexual conservatism, which are not unique to the Chinese culture, but rather understood and appreciated by almost all [organized] societies. Nobody, however, has ever been able to 'enforce' these things, which is what the Chinese don't get. If you are in a Free(TM) country, consider yourself lucky.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494953)

Masturbation *is* sexual conservatism. It doesn't take a billion Chinese to figure this out.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494987)

Modesty and sexual conservatism, which are not unique to the Chinese culture, but rather understood and appreciated by almost all [organized] societies.

Well, i don't know what you classify as "sexual conservatism", but i sure don't think that we have that now - neither in the US nor here in Europe.

Porn is everywhere and completely legal, prostitution is legal in most places in Europe and some places in the US.

12 year olds that want to dress up as whores as the idols on TV also dress like that isn't my idea of "sexual conservatism".

However, sex is often a somewhat "taboo" topic, which leads to problems like teenage pregnancies, transmission of STDs, etc.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

HadouKen24 (989446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495269)

I'm not buying it, chief. Read a comedy by Aristophanes and tell me that the Athenian Greeks were much into "modesty and sexual conservatism." Read the poems of Martial, Juvenal, and Catullus, and look at the architecture and decorations preserved at Pompeii, and tell me that the Romans were.

Some of the ancient and beautiful temples in India happen to have bas-reliefs depicting bestiality. Illustrated sex manuals were a popular form of literature at one point in China's history. Japan has had tentacle porn since at least the 18th century.

Sure, every culture has its sexual mores. But that's not exactly the same thing.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26496207)

Modesty and sexual conservatism, which are not unique to the Chinese culture, but rather understood and appreciated by almost all [organized] societies. Nobody, however, has ever been able to 'enforce' these things, which is what the Chinese don't get. If you are in a Free(TM) country, consider yourself lucky.

I would think it is pretty well understood by generals, dictators and rulers throughout history that providing entertainment and sex to the soldiers and populace is a great way of controlling them and making them like you.

Rulers with no morals are using plenty of sex as a means of control and to strengthen their power.

The rulers that try to enforce modesty are the ones with a moral agenda, and they try to use the morals to strengthen their power.

Two faces of power.

Re:Why? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496559)

"Modesty and sexual conservatism, which are not unique to the Chinese culture, but rather understood and appreciated by almost all [organized] societies."

*cough*

Not sure which organized society you are from, by here in western civilization, sex is by no means modest or conservative. Maybe it is "supposed" to be, according to the evangelicals, but it is not. Nor is sexual conservatism appreciated, except by a small but vocal minority composed mainly of puritans.

Nooooooo (1)

BennyLava (1440059) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494617)

But, but.... I need it.

100 Million Horny Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26494631)

Frustrated, desperate men.

Think wisely, China /clicks AC

Re:100 Million Horny Men (4, Funny)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494677)

Imagine if they did that in our countries? You would feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of Slashdotters cried out in anger and considered stepping outside of their home to do something about it.

Re:100 Million Horny Men (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26494815)

Germany promised to filter child porn from the internet, one wonders if they will do as great a job as in finland [kapsi.fi] .

Re:100 Million Horny Men (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494863)

Hey thanks for the list :-)

Re:100 Million Horny Men (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496853)

Or their basement, for that matter.

Prejudice abounds in the summary (4, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494639)

No, it really _is_ a coincident that China started targeting porn sites on the twentieth anniversary of 'the June 4th incident'.

You think they looked at the calendar and realized... OMG, this is the year we must start censoring internet porn!

Re:Prejudice abounds in the summary (2, Funny)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495069)

"You think they looked at the calendar and realized... OMG, this is the year we must start censoring internet porn!"

Perhaps internet porn is devaluing their pin up calendar?

Re:Prejudice abounds in the summary (4, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495351)

No, it really _is_ a coincident that China started targeting porn sites on the twentieth anniversary of 'the June 4th incident'.

You think they looked at the calendar and realized... OMG, this is the year we must start censoring internet porn!

Well, since there are so many important Chinese anniversaries this year, how come the author picked Tian'anmen? Why not the ban of Falun Gong (10th anniversary)? Why not the declaration of The People's Republic (70th anniversary)? Or May 4th Movement (90th anniversary)?

I'm sure there are some more, but I can't think of them off-hand.

numbers (1, Informative)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494657)

What I don't understand is that if there are so many damn people in China why they don't just overthrow their government... it wouldn't be difficult.

Re:numbers (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494703)

What do you think all the civil unrest is about? Chinese officials themselves have said they were preparing themselves for a year of chaos. Not sure that'll be enough for them to get rid of their government, provided that's even what the protesters want.

Re:numbers (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495089)

step 1. Get the names of all communist govt people, and all army people and all police people.

step 2. Get their home addresses, and family names.

step 3. do the coup, while the police/army are rounding up people, go to their homes and take them hostage.

step 4. over throw govt, no cop/army guy will be in sight as they all will be going home.

Expect all routers/internet to be turned off, so make sure everyone gets ham radio sets.

Re:numbers (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495157)

step 1. Get the names of all communist govt people, and all army people and all police people.

step 2. Get their home addresses, and family names.

That's really the easy part, all you have to do is look them all up on the Red Pages (redpages.cn), that's like the White Pages except that on top of giving the phone number and name it also gives you their occupation, street address, maiden name and birth date.

Re:numbers (5, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494751)

What I don't understand is that if there are so many damn people in China why they don't just overthrow their government... it wouldn't be difficult.

Well, a lot of chinese people happen to like the chinese government and approve of what's going on, at least enough to put up with it. I'm sure a lot of people around the world were probably wondering why Americans didn't overthrow Bush. I personally hated the guy from before day one, but I wouldn't want to overthrow the government even if we were facing 8 more years of Bush. Probably similar in China, they don't agree with everything, but the government does reflect a lot of their values, an overthrow would be damaging, and they don't see a lot of other people willing to rise up.

It's not like the government holds on to power entirely by force, in other words.

Re:numbers (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495173)

a lot of chinese people happen to like the chinese government and approve of what's going on

Quite right. This is anecdotal, but the Chinese people I've spoken with about this simply do not see the problems that I try to ask them about. They largely agree with what the Chinese government is doing. They see government as their protector, and mostly agree/assume that "the government knows best." They point to the remarkable progress and advancement in China (in terms of tech, economy, society, etc.) to prove their point.

At worst, I've gotten some of them to begrudgingly admit that some things the government is doing may be "necessary compromises" in order for the country as a whole to grow.

Those that I've met are among the more educated and traveled/worldly of the Chinese population. I'm not sure which way that biases the sample. I'm well-aware that there are dissidents in China trying to stop things like censorship; but doing so must be exceedingly difficult when the average person (and even the "intellectual elite" if you will) support the government.

Re:numbers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26496529)

Thank you.

It was a lot of American students that were pushing the Chinese students to fight the government.

How well do you think it would go over if Chinese students, or American students who had studied abroad, told their classmates to overthrow the government?

One of the common, and persistent, stereotypes about Americans is that they see the world ONLY from a limited knowledge of the world. Foreign countries, in the American view, are backwards, poverty stricken, evil, or tyrannical. Many Americans persist in this view despite never having visited any other off-shore country except Hawaii (which many consider another "country").

For example, many Americans decry the ecological problems that growth has caused. They do this without recognizing that the USA does the same, and has done the same throughout its growth.

Americans decry the state of copyright enforcement in the world, without acknowledging that the early USA did the same thing to English and German patents.

I love the United States. The people there are, for the most part, well meaning if somewhat ignorant. They have some very talented engineers, some great schools, a dogged persistence, and resourcefulness. However, they can be easily led astray by a charismatic leader.

Not so different from China.

(Please excuse any errors, I am not a native speaker.)

Re:numbers (1)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495179)

Overthrowing a Government just means you'll end up replacing it with something that'll eventually become worse.
The best course of action is to talk to them, remind them why Governments should be afraid of their people and not the other way around.

Please note, this doesn't necessarily mean using violence.

Re:numbers (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495211)

It's not like the government holds on to power entirely by force, in other words.

Just because the threat is more often implied than actually followed through doesn't mean that force wasn't or isn't used. China has made so many 'examples' over the years that most people are easily pacified with just a disapproving look from a policeman. For those who aren't there is always the re-education camp where attitudes, among other things, are adjusted.

Re:numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495439)

What I don't understand is that if there are so many damn people in China why they don't just overthrow their government... it wouldn't be difficult.

Well, a lot of chinese people happen to like the chinese government and approve of what's going on, at least enough to put up with it. I'm sure a lot of people around the world were probably wondering why Americans didn't overthrow Bush. I personally hated the guy from before day one, but I wouldn't want to overthrow the government even if we were facing 8 more years of Bush. Probably similar in China, they don't agree with everything, but the government does reflect a lot of their values, an overthrow would be damaging, and they don't see a lot of other people willing to rise up.

It's not like the government holds on to power entirely by force, in other words.

I suspect that Chinese people in general haven't got the big idea about the difference between their form of democracy and the western form of democracy. The Chinese are in many ways a very proud people. (I suppose that they have a few millennia of encouraging imperial history to lean on.) In their mind they are the best - and if they aren't already the best in some minor area they will soon be, thanks to their economic progress.

For example, I watched our national parliament election over here together with a student from China. He saw the results, and concluded that our elections are quite similar to the Chinese elections. In that there are two blocks with rather similar ideas - except that one block wants higher taxes and one block wants lower taxes.

It was not until the results from the small parties came up on the TV screen that he understood what it means to vote freely for any party, regardless of whether it is accepted by the government or not:

Nationalistic/xenophobic party: 3%
Feminist party: 0.7%
Pirate party: 0.6% (Yes, I'm from Sweden and the Pirate Party is what you think it is.)
Pensioner's party: 0.5% ...

Think it may have been the pirate party, with 0.6% of the vote, that helped to get the idea across. This man, who was obviously from an upper middle income family, had been staying in Western Europe for over a year. Imagine how much the Chinese working class people who actually live in China under Chinese censorship know about western democracy.

Re:numbers (1)

diopter72 (1324853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495697)

That is actually not entirely true. Many Chinese people still do not see our point-of-view and perspectives. "Brainwash" is probably the closest colloquial term I can think of at the moment, without the science hoo-ha.

The belief that the Chinese government is good and all-powerful is rooted in their society; in other words, they are BROUGHT UP thinking the Chinese government is good, so asking those people if the government is good is moot. It is analogous to why boys like car toys or action-hero figurines or why girls like to play dress-up and barbie dolls in the Western world. It is simply a norm; and like always, not everyone follows the norm (and so you will have dissidents even in China), but a good majority do follow. Not to mention, if you don't like the government, you get in all sorts of trouble, legally or illegally. You just don't hear about them because of China's censoring policies. To get a better perspective, you really have to watch one of the foreign language outlets close to China such as Japanese of Taiwanese News to get a better understanding.

An IT analogy (3, Interesting)

r6144 (544027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495243)

The same reason system administrators are reluctant to reboot their production servers in order to apply a kernel patch that fixes serious performance issues. Government downtime is costly. And in this case we have a fairly invasive patch involving a new algorithm, and although the algorithm itself is well researched, the specific implementation needs extensive testing for which good spare hardware is unavailable.

If only we had a good simulator to test political ideas on...

Re:An IT analogy (2, Informative)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495397)

My Chinese teacher says China is not yet ready for democracy. For one, it is a huge country, which also means it is inert. Such radical changes, if implemented haphazardly, mostly lead to problems.

The Chinese do not plan in 4-year mandates. They plan in chunks of 20 or 50 years. At the same time, they do not tend to improvise as much.

There is quite a number of issues here, and the more I learn about China, the more I understand that applying the western model would be the wrong thing to do. It is a different culture, with different values. Forcing our values on them, in any way, would meet – and is meeting – much resistance.

Evolution, not revolution. That's the answer.

Re:An IT analogy (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495633)

I'm actually writing this from a hotel in Ch*na, and this different culture thing is bullshit. I spend most of my time in Ta*wan, and TW really does feel like somewhere that has 5000 years of history. The culture is open enough to debate different solutions to problems, and that lets them add value.

E.g. I visited the CH factory of a TWese electronics manufacturer. The TWese company is one of the top 5 ODMs that design something like 90% of the laptops and motherboards in the world all of them are based in TW and do their design there. When you visit them in TW, they are very pragmatic about solving problems and clearly based on market share they are good at what they do.

The CHese factory by contrast is organised on very strict lines. They have absolutely no authority to question anything or make any changes. And wider TWese society vs CHese society mirrors this distinction. If you're in CH you don't talk about problems. Talking about problems will get you fired, beaten up, locked up or even killed. That just means that problems are never really solved, just papered over. All the rhetoric about 5000 years of history and a very different culture is just something the government says to foreigners who don't recognize it is bullshit. CHese people most likely do, but they know the consequences of speaking up. Also the current government spent most of its time eraseing those 5000 years of history and culture in favour of a sort of generic Stalinism.

In fact as a liberal you should be aware that sometimes governments spout self serving nonsense to excuse stomping their opponents. And hell, governments are sometimes corrupt too. Imagine what the US would be like if criticizing Bush or Haliburton was widely believed to cause you to disappear. And imagine if the Republican party/Haliburton had been in power for 50 years and owned everything.

I'm sure that TW's more open political system influences people to discuss problems at work and try to solve them and CH's system discourages this. And for what it's worth, TW did not have 'our political system' forced upon them. The US would occasionally raise reform during the cold war, but it never forced it - given that it does not recognize TW that would have been hard. It was actually student protests coupled with a sympathetic TW President Lee which triggered TW's transition. Before that it was a party state like CH. They actually happened at the same time as the student protests in CH.

I.e. regardless of people's culture, they don't like being ruled my a bunch of murdering crooks. No one plans 20 to 50 years ahead blindly, that leads to catastrophe. You need to be able to change tack as new facts appear. TW can do that, CH can't. Not politically, and not in an engineering project.

Mispellings are for obvious reasons. Hope the proxy works.

I realise the above would be very bad Last Words on the Internet...

Re:An IT analogy (3, Insightful)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495681)

I have long been of the opinion that methods of implementing democracy in previously autocratic countries has been badly flawed. The only country in the world that managed to get it essentially right from the outset was the US, and they had a massive momentum behind getting it right. When you arbitrarily hand over democracy to a people not used to it, or used to the exact opposite, you end up - in the extreme case - with Zimbabwe.

I believe that the best way to go is to follow an evolutionary path, following the experience of countries like Britain or Switzerland, which essentially evolved democracy from what had gone before. Don't impose a democratic structure from the top: create thousands of village councils, each with enough teeth to make an impact but not enough to do severe damage. Ensure you have an effective and ethical policing and judiciary function. As people get used to dealing with their problems through local politics and courts, extend it up the way.

I reckon that in ten to twenty years time Iraq will freely elect yet another lunatic, and we'll be going back again to try and straighten out another mess. You heard it here first.

Re:An IT analogy (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496313)

There is quite a number of issues here, and the more I learn about China, the more I understand that applying the western model would be the wrong thing to do.

You're talking about "applying" the western model, but that is a statement clearly founded upon a western view of applying your worldview to everything. This does make some sense, since the USA's hobby is "applying" its model everywhere.

The Chinese will have a revolution if they can handle one. It has nothing to do with anyone else, nor should it.

Re:An IT analogy (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496821)

There is quite a number of issues here, and the more I learn about China, the more I understand that applying the western model would be the wrong thing to do.

You're talking about "applying" the western model, but that is a statement clearly founded upon a western view of applying your worldview to everything. This does make some sense, since the USA's hobby is "applying" its model everywhere.

Since that is precisely what I meant in the first place, I'm left befuddled. Should I now thank Captain Obvious, or am I missing something important?

The Chinese will have a revolution if they can handle one. It has nothing to do with anyone else, nor should it.

Precisely so. If and when the Chinese decide to start a revolution, it will be their own matter. Although should that happen, I cannot imagine the US staying out of it. The US has meddled in almost everything anyway.

Re:numbers (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495403)

We Europeans asked ourselves the same question when Bush Jr. got 'voted' president. Obviously, the American population did not find their situation as bad as we outsiders.

Same thing with Britain. Either it looks worse than it is from the outside or the people have been lulled into a false sense of 'everything's okay'.

Re:numbers (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496855)

The Chinese government has managed to rocket China from an impoverished post-WWII and post civil-war famine-plagued disaster into the modern China of today in under sixty years.

That's absolutely amazing.
To expect our idea of freedom and democracy to work in China is to ignore its situation and culture. The US and Europe haven't had serious famines in living memory. China has.
Order and prosperity are more important than freedom.

People don't generally revolt because they aren't free, they revolt because freedom is seen as the path to prosperity they do not have.

Xinhua news agency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26494715)

Xinhua news agency, which is owned by the government and can safely be used for reporting in China

What does this even MEAN? How does a news outlet being owned by the government make it a "safe" source of news? AFAI'mC, all news sources are tainted in one way or another. Governments twist the facts of any story to fit desired political influence. News corporations only cater to whatever their board of directors/consumers want (which is always money).

There's really almost no such thing as decent reporting. I'm not even talking about the bias that plagues nearly all news. All I'm referring to is that the people who report the news are not paid to "report the true news"; they're paid to make governments and corporations "look good" and "make profit".

Re:Xinhua news agency (4, Insightful)

dnwq (910646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494763)

Safe for use by second and third parties to redistribute published news, in that if you republish or distribute a Xinhua article in the PRC, you probably won't get arrested, because the article's already been vetted. It doesn't mean "safe to take for granted, without scepticism".

Countries that censor news often don't explicitly define what is acceptable, and the standards can change often, hence why internal political commentators need to rely on such gauges to see what the current acceptable topics are.

Re:Xinhua news agency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495445)

'Safe' in that you're LESS likely to 'disappear' if you refer to a news item from Xinhua. Of course by 'disappear' I mean, move to opposite side of country, have prosperous 'government' 'job' for rest of 'life' without ever having any contact with family or friends.

arrests not necessarily due to porno (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26494735)

Whoever made the summary ever RTFA?

"28 suspects arrested in the campaign included 4 men in their twenties who ran the Midnight Prostitute Call website from eastern China. They also included two men accused of using a video chat service to defraud customers."

Re:arrests not necessarily due to porno (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496939)

What's wrong with prostitution? It's my body and if I want to have an abortion & kill a fetus, I can due to those bodily rights. Likewise I should be free to sell my body in exchange fox wages. There's no valid reason to limit how I use MY body, unless you endorse enslavement.

Enough. (1)

powerslave12r (1389937) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494757)

Communism just got personal.

So, what is making China so prude? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494777)

It's not like America with a puritanical past, Communist regimes actually tend to suppress religion. Not that most eastern religions were like the western ones. I think the Soviet Union didn't care about that stuff, but am not entirely sure.

So what's the deal?

The Soviet Union DID care about it... (1)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495301)

I think the Soviet Union didn't care about that stuff, but am not entirely sure.

Government persecution of Christianity continued unabated until the fall of the Communist government, with Stalin's reign the most repressive. [wikipedia.org]
Stalin is quoted as saying that "The Party cannot be neutral towards religion. It conducts an anti-religious struggle against any and all religious prejudices."

Re:The Soviet Union DID care about it... (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495515)

Of course they could not. It was ORGANIZED religion in Russia (i.e. a church). And churches have power over people. And one power structure always wants to control another power structure for more power. Why do you think that churches in the US interfere with government while they could spend all their time praying to their god? It is a kind of conceding that praying doesn't work if you have to interfere directly.

Bert

Re:The Soviet Union DID care about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495657)

I think by "that stuff" he means pornography and other such things, not religion.

You wanna see civil unrest... (1)

kimgkimg (957949) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494859)

Well take away their porn and you'll see what kind of civil unrest that'll cause...

Re:You wanna see civil unrest... (2, Funny)

auric_dude (610172) | more than 5 years ago | (#26494899)

The Devil finds work for idle hands.

China. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495021)

The Chinese government is obviously correct, right, accurate, faultless, unerring, precise, exact, and correct. The Chinese government is the most noble organization of any kind in the world and is made up entirely of honorable, worthy, reputable, and decent individuals who have the best interests of the country at heart. It is horrible that any harmful content is allowed to exist and as such it should be removed. The Chinese government is correct in this just as it is correct in every decision it makes. The Chinese government is perfect and praiseworthy. This story makes just one more example of why the Chinese government is the best in the world and why China is the best place to live in the world.

Re:China. (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495159)

I agree. Can I please have a job now?

hypocrits (1)

scientus (1357317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495163)

LOLOLOL

the china officials have already been found coult red-handed with porn on government servers:

http://w3.cultdeadcow.com/cms/2008/03/cult-of-the-dea.html [cultdeadcow.com]

any they ironically didnt find any on us offical servers..

Re:hypocrits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26495413)

I'm unsure for the others, I don't read chinese, but for the sex toys picture, it's actually taken from a gouvernment website plateforms promoting ecommerce/ebusiness and it's for an import/export company working in the sex toys industry. I suppose that the other ones are in the same league, so it's silly to say such.

Re:hypocrits (1)

scientus (1357317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496561)

theres a ton of pornographic mangas and such is you actually look at the servers, its amaing that the stuff is still on government serevrs

It is tradition act of the government (5, Informative)

_Qiang_ (560206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495383)

I work in the mobile game industry in beijing.

In the past, the government had done many gang/crime enforces during certain month of year before, they call it "Yan Da" which basically mean strict enforcement.

But everyone in china knows that It doesn't solve anything permanently and the people who are involve with such act just keep low profile and wait for it finish.

As for the porn busting thing.. my coworkers are making jokes about it and pulling out any thing vaguely sexual. such as, you can't mention "Mei Nv"(beatiful girl) in the game description.

Bottom line, Everything will be business as usual in a month or two.

Chairman Rudd also likes your idea (1)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 5 years ago | (#26495629)

Meaningless use of cliche in summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26496009)

"It's no coincidence that this year is the twentieth anniversary of Tiananmen Square..."

Why is that, editors? Is the Chinese government commemorating this "joyous" event with more police crackdowns? Or are you simply referring to the fact that it's no coincidence that time keeps marching on? Exactly how did you mean that it's no coincidence that these porn raids are taking place 20 years to the week after Tiananmen? Please explain how the two are related. You're supposed to be an editor. You can't just pull unsupported and unclear statements from your ass and leave them hanging out there, douchebag.

cat got my tongue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26496167)

praises to China for doing something that should have been done here in North America. Freedom to distribute porn to your children is wrong.

What for? (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496291)

That is actually not entirely true. Many Chinese people still do not see our point-of-view and perspectives. "Brainwash" is probably the closest colloquial term I can think of at the moment, without the science hoo-ha.The belief that the Chinese government is good and all-powerful is rooted in their society; in other words, they are BROUGHT UP thinking the Chinese government is good, so asking those people if the government is good is moot. It is analogous to why boys like car toys or action-hero figurines

Claims about Thailand in the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26496491)

are silly. No matter what the law is technically in Thailand, the government has never shown that it can be bothered with such nonsense in practice.

simplest answer: somebody forgot to pay the cops. (1)

anon mouse-cow-aard (443646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496553)

this month's cheque bounced. they got raided. nobody else is going to skip a payment...

Better than Korea ... South Korea that is (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496557)

South Korean authorities have arrested a blogger for saying the won will fall [latimes.com] after he predicted that Lehman Brothers would implode. Apparently he is being charged with "spreading false information" -- which seems funny to me, if the guy is predicting the future, how does the government know it is false? Are they claiming to be able to see the future?

I know if *I* was in charge of a country (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | more than 5 years ago | (#26496575)

with over a billion people, I'd want to have male births outnumber female births for awhile, and then take away all the porn.

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