Amid censorship outrage, China's state-run TV reports that "Google Porn" causes memory loss.

A "man on the street" who turned out to be a intern for China's state-run CCTV appeared on a CCTV newscast to testify about the evils of porn websites. China's controversial "Green Dam" censorship program is purportedly designed to block such memory-erasing evils for the protection of Chinese citizens.
Gao (shown here during the broadcast) complained that the pornographic content on was particularly harmful. He said in the interview, 'I have this fellow student and he's been curious about these kinds of things. He visited porn Web sites and ended up becoming absent-minded for a while.'

Which sounds pretty authentic. Viewing porn sites causes memory loss. Not a known syndrome but possible, possible.

Some viewers doubted the truth of Gao's comments and suspected that he had been coached beforehand. So an Internet search was carried out -- there is no place to hide -- and it appears that he is a current intern with CCTV. His page on the popular Chinese social networking site seemed to support the claim that he was working for the state broadcaster at the time of the interview.

Google China mess gets messier (China Economic Review, via @rmack)



  1. I had a really good point to make about all this, but for the life of me, I can’t remember what it was…

  2. This whole “pornography” argument is so obviously a red herring. The real issue is net censorship. Anyone who has lived or visited China for any length of time knows that there are “massage parlors” and “sex health” shops on nearly every street. Urban China is supported by a thriving sex industry based on the exploitation of (mostly) rural women.

    It is laughable that the Chinese government is picking on Google when kids walking in their neighborhoods every day pass massage parlors. If the Chinese government cared about their people, they would go after the source. Of course, as a Chinese friend once quipped–if they did that it would have a negative effect on the “business climate.”

  3. …… and we found those WMD didn’t we.

    ….. and those soldiers were just rogues under a weak commander, weren’t they.

  4. No, Gao.

    Visiting porn sites makes hair grow on your palms.

    It doesn’t make you “absent-minded for a while.”

    *Where* are you getting your pseudo-science from? A Creationism text book? Sheesh…

  5. He said in the interview, ‘I have this fellow student and he’s been curious about these kinds of things. He visited porn Web sites and ended up becoming absent-minded for a while.’

    ‘If you know what I mean,’ he added.

  6. Chinese mother:
    “What is this website you´re looking at? How did you find this+??”

    Chinese son:
    “Um… I don’t remember… Not my fault.”

  7. There is a divide in Chinese culture between appearances and substance – where you find the pendulum swings to extremes in both directions.

    What really happens in China and in the Chinese mind is unspoken and unacknowledged. You could catch one with his hand in your pocket and HE would cry thief.

    Would that the Chinese government cared as much about providing it’s young people the ability to think as it does about restricting information and telling them what to think.

    Perhaps we should support the Chicom government in churning out another generation of blindered pawns? Except, willful stupidity always carries a price for the rest of the world.

    There is no benefit from enforced morality. Morality comes from within. There is, however, a vested interest in retaining carte blanche authority when you are not an elected body.

    Every time the Chinese government does something like this, they broadcast their fundamental insecurity. Hm, what do they know that they are not telling?

  8. Anyone else catch the irony in China’s state-run television being called “CCTV”? :-)

  9. If by “for a while,” he meant “a minute or two every half hour,” then sure porn can make you absent-minded.

  10. Huh.
    Everyone I’ve introduced to Goatse, Mr. Hands, and Glass Ass have experienced the opposite effect – they complain of having very vivid memory.

  11. AND if you dig into his blog, there’s his ideas of getting into the government tv station for a stable job and a well paid salary, and he would be happy sacrificing news authenticity for that.

  12. Hey, me and my friends also suffer the mellifluous effects of porn: when I see a good par of
    —ohhh ghawd—
    Hell! Not again!

  13. That isn’t being absent minded. He is concentrating on his priorities, which just happen to be porn. Prurient thoughts happen and it’s OK, repressing those thoughts is the real problem.

  14. It’s true! I just opened IE8, googled for some porn, then loaded a bunch of results and suddenly my system monitor reports only 936147 KBytes free from 4 gigs installed.

  15. this is only relevant if it impacts the price for pieces of purpose-build molded plastic at wal mart.

  16. As #2 and #8 eloquently pointed out, Chinese culture is entrenched in doublethink. On the outside, they are all upstanding citizens who work hard for their country. In their spare time, they have some of the most eccentric, graphic fetish porn of any culture.

    China can cry “porn” all they want, but they are really blocking (and reporting) people who speak out against the Chinese government — that is Green Dam’s real purpose. They aren’t preventing people from enjoying their nation’s favorite past-time, they are realizing the dream of Big Brother, punishing thoughtcrime as it happens.

    If the US really wants a country to “liberate”, they should start stop worrying about Iraq and start saving the Chinese from their own government. Oh, wait, China owns controlling shares in the US now. Damn.

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