Net Nanny Follies

State media blames Google for porn

Searching for "son" brings up some compromising results

Update: According to Xinhua, the government told to "temporarily stop searching overseas web pages and halt its auto-complete function," in addition to the overhaul and clean-up mentioned below.

Update 2: ESWN translates - Gao Ye, who was interviewed by CCTV's Focus Report about Google (see below) turned out to be the program's intern.

The latest development in the government's Internet cleansing is a CCTV attack on Google China for pornographic content, which aired last night. Supposedly, one of the crimes is searching for son ("儿子", picture, left), which results in an automatic list of erotic searches mostly revolving around incest between mother and son.

This is only one instance of how Google China has not followed government orders to clean up their site.

Netizens have criticized this as a reaction against the PR and media disaster of the Green Dam.

For example, Keso, influential IT blogger wrote that they must be very skilled to come up with such a crude way of searching Google China - translated here:

A netizen said: "The main contradiction of socialism at the beginning stages is the mass' intelligence, which grows daily, and the continuous lowering of the morality of officials at different levels". This is so true. For example the Green Dam, even if you want to defend it it's hard, because it's a piece of junk that costed 41.7 million yuan. Another example, motivating the most superior propaganda machine to concentrate on attacking one company: this is totally the traditional way of viewing the masses as idiots, which has been the same for tens of years.

A friend told me that he has been using Google for 10 years, but can never find porn, why could they find it straight away? I said that this is the difference between ordinary people and experts. You can't find it, because you haven't the skills, and your spirit is not as polluted, for example you won't search for "boobs" in English and then translate it into Chinese, right? Sub-standard.

I really pity those "search experts", all they do all day is search for "sex", "boobs" and other vulgar and perverted words, and they can still remain pure: that's not easy.

This translation of CCTV's Network News report and commentary is a contribution from YumeYao:

Local Time (GMT+8) 19:00 ~ 19:30, Jun 18th.

CCTV's Network News (新闻联播) presented a piece of news which indicated that Google is providing "vulgar and unhealthy" content. The title was "China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center criticizes Google China for transmitting vulgar and unhealthy information". On Network News this piece lasted about one minute.

The full content is a male voice, reading a note published by "China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center" on morning of June 18th. The full content is as below:

In recent days, China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center received the public's compliant and proved true that Google China transmits vulgar and unhealthy information widely, which violates certain terms and goes against common morality, damaging the public's rights.

Earlier in January and April, Google China was exposed by the CIIIRC for containing vulgar and unhealthy links. Recently the public complained to the CIIIRC again. After our inspection, we found that there still exists a large quantity of vulgar and unhealthy information within the Google China website, which consists of many vulgar and pornographic images, videos and texts.

Google China did not follow China's laws to filter vulgar contents, lots of foreign vulgar information on the Internet is transmitted into China via Google China.

CIIIRC here criticize "Google China" and requires "Google China" to clean up all vulgar and unhealthy contents, suggesting that certain departments punish the site, and hopes that the public continues to review Google.

Later, 19:40~19:55.

"Focus Report" (焦点访谈) on CCTV 1 after Network News featured this topic again.

In this program, CCTV used some very childish means, including the "faking" of public comments":

One college students said that one of his schoolmates hadn't accessed unhealthy sites ever since the government's forceful closing of unhealthy sites, but started visiting again because he could find lots of search results via Google.

In this affair, the key point is "Greem Dam". CCTV "reported" this news because the Department of Industry and Information's Green Dam Project is doubted. So it uses the media to back some of the control.

This report is also on the front page of today's Beijing Youth Daily, reporting that Google China responded last night: the company has already been investigating the vulgar content, including the ones concerning children. But that after these reports will intensify these investigations.

Links and Sources
There are currently 26 Comments for State media blames Google for porn.

Comments on State media blames Google for porn

I hope they kick Google out of China so netizens can finally revolt.

How come no one mentioned the filthy hand of Baidu? You know, the shady profiteering portal that pretends to be a search engine?

It's funny that Baidu, who has been plagued by scandals like covering up online criticisms of some companies and blackmailing others, was not even mentioned by CCTV. Among Baidu's many strengths is its acknowledged excellence and leadership in referring visitors to penile enhancement and "private syphilis experts".

Well, Baidu is used a lot more than Google, but there's no mention of that from the government's side: but if you look at the Kenengba post we linked to then the comparison is there. And if you believe the theory that they're after Google because of the fact that they help users "share information", then it suddenly seems a lot less funny.

Heck,those scums are ACTUALLY asking to "temporarily suspend the search service of foreign web pages":

Great China LAN here we come!:(

who can save us by bombing by the Chinese propaganda, even god damn it!

Hatred aside, Google China needs to learn some PR from Microsoft and other successful foreign businesses in China, this is not a country where good business practices prevail, they need to start "donating", 20 million a year would suffice.

Saw the allegation somewhere that Baidu had been brought up on a similar charge previously, and made a big payment to be immune from future trouble.

You are immune as long as you keep paying, and not as soon as you stop paying.

Rumors say that Baidu paid 40 million and solved its crisis with CCTV.

CCTV programme "Focus Report" quoting "one college student" to denounce Google is in fact more than childish. It is fake and scandalous! This college student, whose real name is Gao Ye, is one of the employees of CCTV! link, link, link

Baidu bashing? I last posted on this subject when I was innocently searching for photos of Hu Jintao grinding soy beans. I think it was earlier this year during Chinese New Year. Among the pictures for "磨豆腐" that I got from Baidu images were plenty of X-rated photos in the last pages of results.
Now it looks like Baidu has cleaned up the tofu mess and the same search performed today only produced 2 results that might get dammed by Green Dam Youth Escort software. Those curious about 磨豆腐 can either peek at the Baidu 图片 (image) links posted below or click on Baidu's "知道" link if seeking "knowledge" of what 磨豆腐 could possibly mean.

Page 1: X-rated anime picture link

Page 13. R rated photoslink

One good thing to know is they don't care about porn at all because I can troll on 4chan all the time, if you keep away from politics you are allowed to jack off at will.

I'm pretty sure Baidu has been slammed much more than google. CCTV aired the pay-for-ad scandal a while back about Baidu's "listed" search, that hurt them pretty bad.

The Chinese "netizens" are already revolting against the Chinese government's proposal to install Green Dam. Over 10,400 comments have been left on one anti-Green Dam website called link On this website the netizens are voicing their frustrations and opinions against Green Dam. However, they are running out of time to stop the government's plan.

check out hecaitou's take on this. link

I agree with what's said above. But I do wonder why google would auto-complete the search for "son" with the incest list? Is this based on popularity? Obviously not based on the number of relevant sites.

green dam is ridiculous.

It's popularity-based, I believe. You see the same behavior to a certain extent on Baidu as well, although it's better filtered. Type 性爱 in to the search box, and there are no suggestions. Type "xing" and it suggests some character combinations. Type "xing'ai" and it suggests the pinyin "xing ai dianying" and "xing ai pian" (both of which mean porn films).

So a search engine has the responsibility not only to screen its results for improper information, but to prevent the user from searching for anything unhealthy in the first place.


"So a search engine has the prevent the user from searching for anything unhealthy in the first place."

Correct, Comrade. This standard has been applied to writers since Mao Zedong's talk at the Yenan Forum on Literature and the Arts in 1942, and the media in general since the founding of the PRC in 1949.

The information provider -- be s/he a writer, movie director or a search engine -- will be held responsible for all associations created by that information, and all actions inspired by it.

When google gets negative attention from CCTV, netizens criticize the government and defend google. You don't see this when CCTV do the same to Baidu. This is either google really being a more moral company than baidu, or successful PR on google's part in convincing people that they are the good guys who refuse to collude with the government.


That's a good sarcasm.

When google gets negative attention from CCTV, netizens criticize the government and defend google. You don't see this when CCTV do the same to Baidu. This is either google really being a more moral company than baidu, or successful PR on google's part in convincing people that they are the good guys who refuse to collude with the government.

Are you really a Baidu employee?? if so, you might want to know that one of you guys called my company yesterday for paid search listing, I gently scorned her without a second thought (sorry if it was you), I made clear that if Badiu aspires to be an international enterprise that can earn us some pride being a Chinese it must not employ this type of business practices.

And your thought on why netizens support Google but not Baidu is intriguing, you see, this phenomenon is definitely NOT a coincidence, BUT WHY?? WHY DO ALL NETIZENS SUPPORT GOOGLE?? Well, it's called PR with the USERS, and that's what every successful firm put on top of their agenda, it isn't a trick or gimmick, it is a SURVIVAL technique, because I learned it in my first lecture of Marketing. While I perfect understand that here in China companies need to donate to the government, you people at Baidu are simply to obsessed with elitism and craps, look, get POPULIST, and EARN US CHINESE SOME PRIDE.

"So a search engine has the responsibility not only to screen its results for improper information, but to prevent the user from searching for anything unhealthy in the first place."

I strongly believe that search engine is strictly an "information relayer", not an "information alterer" or "information creator".

That was a joke. I am not a Baidu Employee. Calm down.

Baidu's pervious trouble with the regulatoirs but to a far greater degree, with the general public, was not so much "unhealthy content" (the "general public" wouldn't have cared that much) but fraudulent business model of ranking auction (竞价排名).
While the model itself's nothing new, Baidu surely pushed it too far; so far, in fact, that it's now facing anti-trust class action suits (you know, enabling monopoly by the highest bidders apart from free market mechanisms).

I wish to have Baidu perform "梵欲".

I want to share readers my view:
Is Google a scapegoat of pron?

I'm puzzled, or maybe confused here. Google is in big shit trouble in China because why? A couple of links to dodgy websites, that are proly only harmless fun? And yet China Daily website is now carrying ads for what is widely held to be a dangerous cult from the US! How does this accord with China's laws and regulations? Are we going to see paid for advertorials from .. well let's not name any names eh!?!

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives