58 websites showing HK, Taiwan news shut down
Mainland censors have shut down at least 58 websites in four provinces that rebroadcast content - mostly news programmes - from Hong Kong and Taiwan, in the latest attempt to crack down on unauthorised content, China News Service reported yesterday.
The authorities targeted websites showing programmes - often featuring animated recreations of news events containing violence or 'pornographic' content - that the censors said corrupted social values and sparked young people to commit crimes. Some of the programmes were from Hong Kong's Apple Daily and Taiwan's Next TV, both of which are owned by Hong Kong-based Next Media.
The report said 34 managers and technicians from the websites were detained and interrogated following raids on their headquarters in Guangdong, Jiangxi , Hebei and Henan provinces. The crackdown was jointly launched by the Ministry of Public Security, the Anti-Piracy and Pornography Working Committee, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
Websites belonging to Next Media are blocked on the mainland, so authorities are investigating whether the websites used special software, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) or proxy servers, to circumvent the 'Great Firewall'. Another possibility is that the videos were uploaded by Hongkongers.
Last year, the Anti-Piracy and Pornography Working Committee said that it deleted more than 1.8 million pornographic items from mainland websites and shut down 1,200 websites and channels.
In 2010, the nation's censors shut down more than 60,000 pornographic websites. Police investigated 2,200 related criminal cases, according to Xinhua.