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Friday China Porn Site Closure Round-up

If it's Friday, it must be time to list the number of porn site closures by the Chinese government! This week in Fun with Dicktatorial Censorship, we have the announcement by the country's State Internet Information Office that yet another 1,222 porn sites have been shuttered by the government. At least we think it's a different 1,222 from previous closures, but who really knows for sure. The mystery is a part of the fun.

What we do know (because we were told) is that the government itself reports of these recent closures, via Global Post, "The websites including some on medical treatment and health, were closed for providing videos or photographs of a pornographic nature, or linked to porn websites abroad."

The government also claims that about "2,200 pieces of text containing pornographic information have been deleted in the 'Cleaning the Web 2014' campaign," and though we're not quite sure what that means, the Internet Information Office says the campaign has been effective and that "more efforts will be taken to curb the spread of pornography on the Internet."

This recent campaign to scrub the web of porn and porn information text reportedly ends in November.

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Is Bing Really the King of Search Engine Porn?

Ever since it launched in 2009, Bing has been a very porn-friendly search engine, even though it was (and remains) dwarfed by Google in terms of the number of people using it and the number of adult sites that looked (and look) to it for traffic.

Via an OutOfTheLoop reddit from a few months ago that spawned a Daily Dot article from a few days ago, which further gave birth to a story on, a web conversation about the best search engine for porn has been revived, with an expected consensus in favor of the world's third most popular search engine, behind both Google and Yahoo. That fact alone was noted by Bustle writer Emma Cueto, who wrote, "Overall, between the search results, the video preview feature, and the fact that it seems to be way easier to turn off safe searching, Bing does seem to be better at bringing you porn. But really that’s not so surprising—it’s actually the sort of thing I’d expect from a search engine whose commercials strongly suggest Google-related daddy issues. No, the surprising thing is that Bing actually did beat Google at something. Who would have ever guessed it? I mean, I know that Bing is the world’s third most popular search engine and all, but since that still means they’re losing to Yahoo, that isn’t saying much.

"But when it comes to porn," she added, "they seem to be number one."

Over at the Daily Dot, writer EJ Dickson notes the inescapable irony that "In the era of Pornhub and Redtube, griping about having trouble finding free online porn is a bit like complaining about how difficult it is to find shrooms at a jam band concert."

One very popular destination that became a "veritable shrine to the Bing porn search" was reddit, where users posted  "informal paeans to the search engine’s virtues in r/AdviceAnimals and r/GIFS. Here’s a redditor imagining what life is like in the Bing offices (NSFW)."

Why does everyone say that Bing is great for porn?

“Google introduced filters a while ago that remove a lot of porn from search results, even if you have safe search turned off.”

“Going on Bing and video searching gets you the porn you want. No one cares about text or image searching, it’s all about the video searching.”

“Also since no one uses Bing, they will never see your previous/recommended searches.”

“I just assumed that if someone else checks my search history, they sure as hell aren’t going to check my Bing search history. They’ll check my Google one.”

Dickson comments, "Basically, the consensus seems to be that unlike Google, which requires you to type insanely specific keywords to get the kind of results you’re looking for, Bing’s video search immediately calls up a well-organized series of short links and related search terms along with your search results."

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Is Apple Allowing Adult Content Into App Store via Russian Apps?

Talking New Media has posted a new article that details the extent to which "Apple has been approving magazine apps from Russian developers that clearly violate developer guidelines."

Apple, according to writer D.B. Hebbard, is knowingly allowing the Russian app developers to engage in deceptive practices via the apps, by allowing them to "promote the name of one magazine [while giving the reader] access to magazines under other names" after the app has been installed.

What Hebbard says is a trend on Apple's part began in 2012, when he began writing about the Russian apps. "The apps in question," he writes now, "were from Sergey Rudnev for magazines with odd names like Magazine Father and Magazine Gun and Magazine Pick Up.

During this time, Hebbard says he contacted Apple more than once about content that "appeared to be far more 'adult' than what Steve Jobs had allowed when he was alive," but never got a response.

Then, in September 2013, "TNM wrote for the first time about the apps from ANASTASIYA RUDNEVA. These were something else altogether.

"In a series of four apps, all released at once, the developer was offering what appeared to be different digital magazines, but were in fact the same app when opened," Hebbard continues. "Each opened to a page where the reader could access the Oh! Yeah! magazines, plus video content." [Emphasis added]

"Why was the App Store team approving these apps, and why, after being told what was going on was Apple keeping them in the store," wonders Hebbard. "A month later I wrote about the apps again, comparing what was seen in iTunes with what the reader actually gets once the app is downloaded."

But the story of the Russian apps in the App Store was not over. "Now comes the new apps from a fourth Russian (presumably) developer, and these apps seem to believe they have nothing to hide anymore, brazenly advertising their wares: 'Sexy girls photos and video. Watch and enjoy…' the app description says."

The revenue model for the new apps has evolved as well, according to Hebbard. "The way these newer apps work," he writes, "the reader buys 'Coins' from within the app. The reader buys a few hundred of these 'coins' and then can buy the video and magazine content within the app. Rather than a magazine costing $2.99, for instance, it costs 100 coins, videos cost 20 coins. The reader gets credit by buying 5,000 at a time for $39.99, or a smaller amount for $9.99. Apple, of course, facilitates the transaction and gets its 30 percent."

Time will tell if Apple's apparent sneakiness in trying to make a few bucks on adult fare Steve Jobs would surely have forbidden on his network will come back to bite it in the ass. But one group of people who will not look kindly upon Apple's "sexual development" are adult producers who currently play a cat-and-mouse game that involves a far less direct method of laundering traffic through innocuous apps, hoping to ultimately drive the eyeballs to hardcore destinations. The revelation that Russians have been provided a deceptive fast-track to Apple-blessed income from adult content is bound to irritate them.

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Google Reportedly Targeting Porn-Destined Shortlinks for Deletion

Last week, ZDNet columnist Violet Blue tweeted her concern that Google was disabling shortlinks for Naked Sword without warning, and asked if it was happening to anyone else. Bacchus at responded with an article that expressed dissatisfaction with URL shorteners in general, but which especially took Google to task for its longtime practice of "letting an automated algorithm declare certain link targets to be 'spam' and then disabling the shortened links to them," and more to point, for expressing its opinion that all porn is spam through its shortlink algorithms.

Yesterday, the Google shortlink story got another boost when Bacchus published an update on the situation in a post titled, The Google Shortlinks #Pornocalypse In Action, where he wrote, "Remember last week when I blogged about rumors that Google was disabling certain shortlinks built using the link shortener, if the link targets were porn sites? Well, thanks to a pair of tweets from Rain DeGrey attempting to share a photo from, right now you can see that that little chunk of the #pornocalypse in live action."

Two tweets about 15 minutes apart from yesterday afternoon include one containing a shortlink supposedly to the Hardtied photo. The second tweet states, "Evidently Google could not deal with the awesomeness that is @DarlingBDSM and disabled the link to her shoot :( Fine." She also adds the full link to the site.

The HardTied shortlink was indeed disabled, and if clicked lead to a page with a message reading, " – this shortlink has been disabled. It was found to be violating our Terms of Service. Click here and here for more information about our terms and policies respectively."

He adds in conclusion, "The modern state of Google’s anti-spam software: there’s a rule in there that assumes that porn and spam are the same thing. Don’t be evil? My ass."

What is disturbing about this situation is that whereas in the past, Google has defended its disabling of shortlinks when they were used inappropriately—say, in emails sent en mass to many hundreds of people—arguing that their terms and conditions are quite clear about their prohibited use as spam.

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U.K. Porn Filters Censor 20% of Websites

The parental filters of U.K. ISPs are blocking 20 percent of the 100,000 most-visited websites on broadband and mobile phone, according to the Open Rights Group.

Even apparently is being blocked by six U.K. ISPs, as seen by a new tool released by the group. So is SFW sister site

The Open Rights Group embedded tool runs checks on all the major broadband and mobile filters of U.K. ISPs — 3, Andrews & Arnold, BT, Everything Everywhere, O2, Plusnet, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Vodafone — and allows users to query which sites are blocked.

U.K. ISPs have automatically been imposing filters on new customers since the beginning of the year unless specifically asked not to do so. Existing customers are next in the new policy under Prime Minister David Cameron.

Open Rights Group officials said that the ISPs, in many cases, are blocking sites that are not harmful to children.

"Sometimes, they are blocked by mistake," the group said. Sometimes, they are blocked deliberately. For example, many blogs and forums are blocked by default."

The group, which released its findings today, said that the problem of over-blocking is not going away

"Different ISPs are blocking different sites and the result is that many people, from businesses to bloggers, are being affected because people can’t access their websites," the group said. "We've found that there is a lack of information about how to get sites unblocked."

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