Chinese Gov't Scolds Baidu For Not Doing The Impossible

from the you-must-block-all-of-these-pictures dept

Over the last few weeks, there’s been a big scandal in Hong Kong concerning photos of certain celebrities caught in various states of undress and various “adult” activities. The police in Hong Kong have had some trouble dealing with this, apparently first claiming that anyone possessing these images was breaking the law and then bungling an investigation into who leaked the images. Now, to top that off, the Chinese government is “censuring” the popular search engine Baidu for allowing people to find these controversial images. It’s not entirely clear how the government expects Baidu to simply know that these pictures are illegal and to stop people from finding them, but as we’ve seen, that’s the method by which the Chinese government enforces its censorship — not by explicitly stating what needs to be banned, but by telling search engines and ISPs that they’ll get in trouble if they allow anything “bad” to get through. That leads to aggressively blocking anything that the ISPs or search engines feel might get them in trouble. Of course, to make that work, the government occasionally does need to publicly scold some of the firms for failing, even in doing the impossible, as that gives increased motivation for everyone else to just keep on blocking stuff.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: baidu

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Chinese Gov't Scolds Baidu For Not Doing The Impossible”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
james says:

naked body is not the problem

There are zillions of live porn sites hosted by Chinese inside China, there is never a problem, even when the government claims to crack down them. The real problem is potential threat and any possible bad impression. I am sure the current “adult” content problem is just a cover up, the real problem is either someone high up got involved and might be exposed or someone high up believes if this goes on and on, government or the 8/8 big game or something might be affected.

Johnkad (user link) says:

Shameless Censorship

This is an outrage. People should be allowed to view any images as long as they do not do harm to other (ie children and minorities). Surely this is part of freedom of expression, albeit an almost unknown concept in China. In any case it will be hard for the software to distinguish “decent” and “indecent” photographs unless the anchor text gives them clues. This is a ludicrous idea by an almost ludicrous regime.

Robert (user link) says:

Good Luck

Well I see this doing little more than harming Baidu’s chances at gaining more than just the Chinese market.

We can discuss politics all you like, but those are the rules the Chinese government put down.

@ Heidi… you are assuming that they should be so lucky.
@ Johnkad freedom of expression isn’t that free at all, the Chinese are just honest about it.
@james you might have a point there.

Good luck to anyone that tries to work the Chinese market. I believe that Baidu have done an amazing job so far. However, the extent of their enforced censorship should be concern for us all because I have no doubt that the rest of the governments will be sure to start enforcing them in the near future – for our own protection ofcourse!

Ted says:


Why do they always have to interfere with everybody?
It’s like when someone may or may not be 100% delighted with the oppressive regime in Russia. They get murdered by the government. If you don’t snitch, you get murdered by the government, too. It’s like those countries that kill you for not being Muslim, or for not being Muslim enough if you are Muslim. It’s crazy that these ego-maniacs don’t get assassinated within a few days of starting these unbelievable regimes. They should all have their malibu kens taken away until they learn to play nice. Silly little boys.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...