07/11/2012, 00.00
CHINA

Censorship 2.0: The Chinese government wants to block also online videos

The government offices governing the censorship of the Internet are requiring providers operating in the country to view, prior to publication, every single vide posted by users, and to censor "violent or pornographic" content. And state television, in deference to the new rules, cancelled the lower part of the David by Michelangelo when presenting an exhibition on the Italian Renaissance.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - The Internet providers who want to work in China "will have to show in complete form and before publication each video they wish then to put online, so as to control its morality and respect for law." This is the heart of the new rules issued today by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television and the State Internet Information Office. A new tightening in the field of electronic censorship imposed by the communist government on the bodies of dissemination and of information.

The two government offices have issued a joint statement in which they explain the new rules "are used to respond to the rapid growth of this sector. The videos available on the Web, however, can be dangerous: some vulgar or pornographic content, or are excessively violent. We must protect our young people and promote high quality programs."

The regulation has already struck a first illustrious victim, that is, Michelangelo's David. The Chinese state television, presenting a major exhibition on the Renaissance that opened last week in Beijing, obscured the intimate parts of the masterpiece of the Italian artist. The CCTV intervened with a burst of pixels onto the statue, sparking derision of hundreds of thousands of people on the internet. "Without the covering it's art, with the covering it's become a porno," said a user of the Net.

In any case, Beijing does not intend to backtrack. The internet control and preventive censorship - whether over the media or over the written comments - has become a necessity after ever-increasing dissidents and protesters sparked their own protests thanks to the Web, which also allows them to send abroad the news that otherwise remain within the country's borders.

However, these efforts risk creating a boomerang effect. The government currently employs about 100,000 police officers to monitor online content, and has forced bloggers to register with a government office. But the vastness of the Internet, the huge number of cyber users - China is the second country in the world in connections and is poised to become the first - and up to date tools to avoid detection are undermining these efforts.

 

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