China Unblocks Internet Porn
Sudden glut of online porn puzzles Chinese
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2010 5:57 AM CDT
These computer users at an Internet cafe in Anhui, China would have searched in vain for porn - until now.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Chinese web censors suddenly and unexpectedly unblocked tens of thousands of pornography sites this week, sparking—among other things—widespread speculation over its motives. Some believe that the government is trying to distract attention from today's anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, while others believe it's a move aimed at calming discontent among the country's increasingly male-heavy population.

China's government has previously called online pornography harmful and launched repeated crackdowns, AP notes. Many IT experts in China believe the sudden accessibility of porn sites may be just a glitch instead of a policy chance. Censors "screw up and some site will suddenly become available for a day or two days, and then be back to normal again," said one Beijing analyst. "There's never any rhyme or reason to it." YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter remain blocked, along with political websites.