China: Anti three-vulgarity campaign

Recently Beijing launched a new anti-vulgarity campaign for sanitizing the Internet. On August 3, China Daily and jointly organized a seminar on “boycotting banality, kitsch and debased culture, improving the new media cultural quality” to set the principles and figure out strategies for the new moral campaign. Below is a summary of People's Daily's report on the seminar.

Definition of vulgarity

Professor Yin Hong (尹鴻)from Tsinghua University School of Journalism and Communication defined vulgarity as a judgment of morality and aesthetics which is below the general public's common denominator. He put forward two principles for defending the moral baseline:

1. To protect children and youth, who are vulnerable to moral pollution, from harmful information;
2. An information is harmful if it violates human rights and the society's consensus and core value.

Professor Xiong Chengyu (熊澄宇)also from Tsinghua University School of Journalism and Communication pointed out that vulgarity has different aspects. “Illegal content”, “unregulated content”, “immoral content” and “unsuitable content” should be handled differently.

New media and vulgarity

Professor Huang Chuanwu (黃傳武) from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications said that the spread of vulgarity is a result of the lack of regulation in online media.

Professor Kang Wenbo (匡文波)from Remin University Journalism Department pointed out that the Internet is a reflection of the real world, the campaign should not only target at the virtual world but also the public life of young people.

Internet governance system

CEO from Cheng Binhuo (程炳皓) said that the government should avoid “campaign style” intervention but set up long term mechanism for governing the Internet.

Professor Xiong from Tsinghua agreed that an Internet governance system should replace the existing “government regulation” model. Instead of administrative intervention, the Internet governance system should include participation from government, corporates, user representatives, parent groups and even children.

Many netizens believe that anti three-vulgarity campaign is the continuation and extension of 2009 anti-vulgarity campaign.


  • […] China’s new censorship campaign. China’s has long been the filtering regime of note. The reason it’s so effective is its combination of technical filtering, legal restrictions on free speech and social restrictions. The Internet, especially China’s, is too big to scientifically restrict, so in a sense terror must be used. Self-censorship is more efficient than any other regime. In order to keep that valuable element of the system up and active, the Chinese government has instituted its “Anti-Three Vulgarity Campaign.” The wonderful thing about this campaign is that its use of phrasing – “children” “human rights” – is so Department of Naming Things the Opposite of What They Are that it really deserves some sort of award. (The Orwell, maybe?) By hammering rationale alongside threat, it cows the public into shutting up, then gives them an excuse to use for doing so. […]

  • […] nell’immaginazione di Li Xiaoguai, Hu Jintao annuncia la nuova campagna anti-volgarità prendendo di mira innanzi tutto se stesso. Il riferimento va alla parata militare per la […]

  • […] China: Anti three vulgarities campaign ( […]

  • […] notice: In response to the “anti three-vulgarity” inspection into the Wang Baoqiang incident, do not hype related people or events. (August […]

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