Chinese Government plan to reduce pornography backfires

12 April 2010

Ted Chwu

In one of those moments that leaves you wondering how on earth someone didn’t manage to spot the flaw in this logic, the first reports from a Government programme that rewards citizens for reporting websites offering online pornography has resulted in massively increased searches for… online pornography.

The Chinese Government has previously made strenuous efforts to shield its citizens from internet content that “harms public morality”, and for a while now has provided citizens with a telephone hotline and online means to report instances of offending content.

In early December the government incentivised this programme by offering up to RMB10,000 (approx US$1,460) to the first person to report each website or WAP site offering content confirmed as illegal by a committee. Within days of launch, the number of responses increased to more than ten times the usual daily number, as concerned citizens began a frenzied online search for salacious content.

Whilst the success of this programme will take some time to become apparent, this is certainly a novel way to introduce a public stimulus package.

Authors

Chwu-Ted

Ted Chwu

Partner
China and Hong Kong

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