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The Chinese Government obsession with eradicating all 'lewd' and pornographic content from the Internet marches on. It all started back in 2007 when the authorities declared war on porn and setting a seemingly impossible target of purging the web of sexually-explicit images, stories and AV clips within a six month time scale.

Of course, it proved to be exactly that, impossible. But that has not stopped the Chinese Porn Takeaway, indeed we reported recently how the latest purge has seen 41 people arrested in January, along with 1250 pornographic websites closed down. Some 3.2 million pieces of 'porn' have also been deleted during the sweep.

Now the Chinese Academy of Sciences has said it will provide the authorities with an intelligent tool to uncover online porn and "lewd materials" using Chinese character recognition to identify porn content using a combination of keywords and syntax. The system apparently searches every page on any given site for evidence of pornographic materials. Alongside a database of pornographic-like words, it is hoped that this will give the cleansing quest a boost.

Of course, there is the small problem that the engine will only uncover textual pornography and cannot do anything about audio or visual content. That, it seems, is still beyond the ken of the Chinese Academy of Sciences at least for now. A spokesperson says that the crackdown will help ensure a "much healthier web environment for Chinese youth." There are no figures available for how many hours a week the average Chinese youth spends watching porn online as far as I know, although here in the UK a new survey reckons British teens watch 1 hour and forty minutes of the stuff.

Still, with the latest official reports suggesting that a total of 1911 pornographic websites have been closed down this year so far, there is as far to go as ever in China. I wonder if these guys have ever thought about a job painting the Forth Bridge? Even the introduction of a new scheme to reward those who report porn sites is unlikely, I imagine, to have much impact upon the overall number. Especially when porn is wrapped up in the whole 'lewd' definition which would appear to include 'information that violates standards of public decency' which, let's face it, can be pretty much anything the Chinese Government does not agree with!

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Last Post by Salem
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Oh good, another futile "War on ...." initiative. I wonder how the US is managing with the "War on drugs" (http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock.htm). Now that's a lot of moola.

Still, it makes good PR for the chattering classes even if nothing ever comes of it. Even in the midst of failure, they can always claim that it would have been worse if they'd done nothing.

I don't suppose the Chinese are going to do a bean about being the spam kings. No problems with attempting to fleece the gullible with spam, even if it does piss everyone else off.
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