China Censors Audio Content That Is Horny or Nihilistic

By Melanie Ehrenkranz on at

Content with even a hint of sexual suggestion is not long for the internet in China—even ASMR videos have been wiped from the nation’s video streaming services. And on Friday, over two dozen audio apps were censored by China’s central internet regulator.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced in a notice last week that 26 apps were either terminated, suspended, or ordered to better regulate themselves after an investigation found they were spreading “historical nihilism” and “obscene pornography” as well as swearing.

The CAC characterised the audio industry broadly as “chaotic” and claimed that there wasn’t appropriate oversight of these channels, which allowed minors to access their content as well as used “algorithmic technology” to push content to listeners that the agency deems as inappropriate.

The CAC detailed a number of ways in which these audio platforms violated their standards, including but not limited to content involving illegal transactions, porn, information on prostitution, zombies, “fairy ghosts”, “subculture”, and “colour gods”. The notice stated that this type of information being disseminated across audio platforms in the nation can “have a bad influence on the healthy growth of young people,” among other concerns.

Scrubbing the internet of anything merely suggestive or dismissive of certain moral principles is par for the course for internet regulators in China. China’s anti-porn task force called for a crackdown on ASMR videos last year. While some videos that fall into that niche sub-genre are definitely erotic, not all are inherently sexual. And Chinese authorities have also arrested hundreds of people for their involvement with porn platforms, of which thousands of such sites have been shut down. It’s hardly a surprise that the nation is also turning to content that, while lacking the more overtly suggestive visual component, still might transmit something immoral or horny.

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