China targets MSN in 'vulgar' Internet crackdown
Late on Thursday it issued a progress update on the 14 sites originally targeted.
China has widened an Internet crackdown on "vulgar" content to target 14 new sites, including Microsoft's MSN, and chided fellow American giant Google for not doing enough to clean up its pages.
China's ruling Communist Party is wary of threats to its grip on information and has conducted numerous censorship efforts targeting pornography, political criticism and web scams. But officials flagged tougher steps this time.
MSN was cited for the large amount of inappropriate images on its film channel and some "selected pictures" in its social messaging section, along with 13 other local sites. Microsoft could not immediately be reached for comment.
The campaign, launched earlier this week, originally accused 19 sites including search engines Baidu and Google of undermining public morality.
They had failed to swiftly purge "vulgar" content and ignored warnings from censors, a television report said.
The companies have since apologised and pledged to clean up, and Beijing apparently plans to hold them to their promises.
Late on Thursday it issued a progress update on the 14 sites originally targeted. Only three were deemed to have done a "relatively good" job cleaning up, and among those who "need to continue the clean up" is Google.
The firm had taken initial steps but still had some vulgar pictures on its "photo search" page, the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre said in a report posted on its website (http://ciirc.china.cn).
A Google public relations officer in Beijing had no comment on the report, but said the firm abided by Chinese regulations.
Baidu, a homegrown firm which dominates the domestic search market with about two-thirds of the audience, fared even worse and was listed in a group of companies which had made "ineffective" clean up efforts.
"Baidu...has done some cleaning up, but still has a large amount of vulgar content," the report said. The company declined immediate comment.
Despite China's many rings of censorship, websites and especially blogs have become sometimes racy magnets for the country's nearly 300 million registered Internet users.
Reuters Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2009, 12:38