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Google China vows to address porn 'problem'
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09:39, June 23, 2009

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Google representatives met with government officials over the weekend to discuss concerns with the service of Google.cn, and its displaying of pornographic images, after authorities ordered the company to remove such search features last week.

"We will continue to meet with the government to address their concerns, and we wish to communicate directly with them in regard to our services and progress in addressing this problem," Cui Jin, a press officer at Google China, told the Global Times via e-mail yesterday.

The e-mail said Google is conducting a thorough review of their service and taking all necessary steps to fix any problems with their results. "This has been a substantial engineering effort, and we believe we have addressed the large majority of the problem results."

Public opinion remains divided on whether Internet search engines should be held responsible for jeopardizing the "well-being" of China''s juvenile Web users by providing them easy access to online pornography.

The debate comes after State media blasted Google with intensive coverage, criticizing it for facilitating searches for pornographic content.
"Google China''s website has not installed filters to block pornography in accordance with the laws and regulations of our nation," the China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre (CIIRC) said Thursday.

CCTV coverage under fire

China Central Television (CCTV) has also participated in the coverage seen as a mounting campaign to punish Google.

In Thursday''s edition of Focus, CCTV''s flagship news-analysis program, a university student named Gao Ye was interviewed and blamed Google China for having a negative impact on one of his course mates, claiming the search engine offered links to pornographic websites.

However, online posts about Gao Ye''s identity as an intern at the State-run broadcaster began to circulate the following day. A staff member working with Focus also confirmed Gao''s identify to the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily.
The exposure set off a cyber manhunt for Gao, with Web users quickly circulating his private information, including his mobilephone number, the name of the university he attends and a photo of him and his girlfriend.

To escape harassment, Gao reportedly changed his mobile number Saturday after deleting his blog a day earlier.


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