China Pays Surfers to Find Porn

Stephen Yagielowicz
BEIJING — Chinese officials have launched their latest antiporn initiative — this time offering surfers cash payments for reporting adult websites.

According to Chinese state media, the new program offers up to 10,000 yuan (around $1465 U.S.) to Internet users that locate and report pornographic websites. The move, seemingly designed to build a more comprehensive database of adult websites, has the consequence of encouraging more visits to suspected porn sites.

The Xinhua news agency claims that within the first 24 hours of the new program, its hotline at the Internet Illegal Information Reporting Centre received more than 500 phone calls and 13,000 online tips.

The rewards for identifying adult web and mobile sites range from 1,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan, will reportedly be paid to the first person to report a specific URL, with a review committee determining the appropriate payout.

According to some adult industry analysts, the reward money may very well exceed the revenues of operating these sites, thus encouraging a spike in Chinese adult website creation, simply for the profit potential of then reporting the new site to authorities.

This initiative is the latest in a series of antiporn actions by China, which have included attacks against search giant Google for displaying adult listings in its search results.