Apologies for being a day behind but I didn’t finish reading the Guardian until late in bed with a Lemsip last night (I know, it’s wild existence I lead). Anyway, they had a couple of stories of note yesterday. The first one comes from China and their apparent crack down on what they call ‘vulgar’ online searches – principally what they deem pornography. State television showed equipment being seized. Given the sensitive nature of what can constitute ‘pornography’, particularly in such a conservative culture, I wonder how gay networking sites such as Gaydar, Gaydar Girls, Manhunt and so on fare under such a regime. A quick search on Gaydar for those living in Beijing revealed over 1000 profiles (the most it will show on a general search) so it doesn’t seem to be holding back such sites at the moment. In April 2008 the Guardian reported on Gaydar setting up a China arm called GaydarNation China which it set up, hosted from Australia, to get around some of China’s restrictive Internet licensing arrangements. This latest move by the Chinese government is designed to tackle the loopholes so I think this is one to watch.
Most of these sites usually have what some what call ‘provocative’ imagery on their splash or front pages. Amnesty International runs a campaign against Internet repression which can be viewed here.