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China Closes Websites in Porn Purge

China has closed down 10 websites and some 7,700 social media accounts

HONG KONG – China has closed down 10 websites and some 7,700 social media accounts as part of its latest crackdown against online pornography.

In addition some 7,000 advertisements and 200,000 text postings with pornographic content were deleted as part of the ‘Cleaning the Web 2014’ campaign.

The move comes only days after the successful NASDAQ flotation of Weibo, Sina Corp’s Twitter like micro-blogging service, which some financial commentators had suggested might be harmed by the government moves. The ADRs were priced at $17 and closed their first day of trading up 19% at $20.34 apiece. That values the company at over$4 billion.

“Pornography does great harm to minors and the social ethos,” read a circular issued by the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications at the start of the campaign.

Political commentators, however, say that the current anti-pornography campaign is a blunt tool that does little to dent China’s consumption of smut, but is also being used to suppress online dissent and target specific groups such as homosexuals.

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