On June 18th, China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre (CIIRC) published a report in its frontage condemning Google.cn for spreading obscene contents.
The report, titled as “Strongly condem google for spreading indecent and obscene information”, said:
Founded on June 10, 2004, (CIIRC) is sponsored by the Internet Society of China and supported by the Ministry of Information Industry, the Ministry of Public Security, and the State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China
Very quickly, CCTV in its evening news highlighted the CIIRC's condeming notice and had a follow-up story in its “focus interview”. The news feature gathered various public opinions from teachers, parents, university students and youth experts against google.cn:
Jason Ng from Kenengba transcribed the university student's interview in the second part of the feature story for analyzing the CCTV propaganda tactics:
For example, I have a classmate. He was like every other youth, very curious about such thing. Therefore, he visited porn site and lost his mind in it. Later, the government clean out the porn sites and he could not visit anymore. He then became better. However, he then discovered that via Google.cn's search engine, he could open these kind of websites again. Google.cn has more that kind of links. Then his condition got worse again.
Update (June 19 3:31pm): latest information from twitter suggested that the university student Gao Ye was a staff member of CCTV. In this Xiaonei (Chinese version of facebook) status update, he chatted with the reporter team. Now that his identity has been disclosed, he started to delete his status record. Below is a screenshoot of his status record before the deletion:
Jason also pointed out that CCTV was trying to promote Green Dam after all the criticism against the software. Here is his explanation:
If they only tareget at a number of websites, it won't be convincing. Search engine is different, it is the entrance to the Internet and netizen can get whatever they want via search engine.
However, Baidu had already paid 40 million protection fee (ad contract) to CCTV, they can't pinpoint at it anymore. So google.cn becomes the target.
Another blogger, lyngle, also pointed out that CCTV is not fair towards google.cn and he compared the image search result between google.cn and baidu.com by searching “mm” (standing for girls). Below are the screen captures of his finding:
Google.cn's image search of “mm”
Baidu.com's image search of “mm”
In the twitter, there are a number of tweets saying that propaganda department has instructed major portal sites to promote the news to the frontpage. There are also speculation that anti-vulgarity is only a means to further censorship:
huyong CCTV fuck Google 再次证明，反低俗是手段，搞审查是目的。
Google is an obvious target for the government when mounting an attack on the internet: massive and foreign owned (USA no less!). Ironically, I’m sure they bend over backwards for Beijing about twice as far as Baidu.
An aside: oftentimes when youtube, wikipedia, or some other “dangerous” site is blocked for whatever lame reason, the Great Firewall forwards you to Baidu.
There’s more. It looks likely that China has now centrally blocked Google: