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Author Topic: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers  (Read 3174 times)

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Offline AstreTopic starter

China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« on: April 26, 2014, 03:45:02 PM »


"Eight erotic fiction sites, or “slash fiction sites,” have been shut down and their staff arrested in China’s newest anti-porn sweeps. Netizens remember a 2012 sweep when dozens of women slash romance writers were arrested."

Read the rest of the article here


*quietly shuffles away her Johnlock stash*


Offline Primal

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2014, 11:37:03 PM »

Offline Synecdoche17

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2014, 11:47:19 PM »
I read an analyst's take on it elsewhere; basically, the crackdown on slash fiction isn't actually about slash fiction - it's about reminding dissidents that the government can and does read *everything* on the Internet.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 02:44:50 AM »
I read an analyst's take on it elsewhere; basically, the crackdown on slash fiction isn't actually about slash fiction - it's about reminding dissidents that the government can and does read *everything* on the Internet.
That's certainly a possible take on it, but the arrest of those writers is just the tip of the iceberg.

Quote
The cyberspace raid, "Cleaning the Web 2014," will involve thorough checks on websites, search engines and mobile application stores, Internet TV USB sticks, and set-top boxes, the National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications said in a circular.

All online texts, pictures, videos and advertisements with pornographic content will be deleted, according to the circular.

Websites, web channels and columns will be shut down or have their administrative license revoked if they are found to produce or spread pornography, it said.
Full article here.

Arresting those young women goes way over the top in my opinion, but the Chinese government is doing far more to remind everyone that they control  what goes on in China's internet; we just don't hear much about it.

The current Chinese government has promised to fight corruption, but going after the deeply entrenched corruption in politics and business isn't easy. Perhaps it sometimes isn't even wanted, as you don't want too many members of your own party in the dock, as that wouldn't exactly project a positive image of the party. So instead they may have decided to go after "moral corruption" to show everyone that they are keeping the country nice, clean, and safe.

Offline DTW

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2014, 05:11:54 AM »
Here's what I don't get. Everyone talks about how China's economy and other western economies and I wonder how paying for A  Giant secret police force fits in there because it seems like a tremendous waste of Tax payer's money. To my knowledge the USSR fell because they went broke. How is the same thing not going to happen in China?

Offline AstreTopic starter

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2014, 05:52:52 AM »
China can afford it right now, they're really starting to flourish as an economy. They've provided massive loans for most of the western world when the banks started going under.

Added to that, those fancy touch screen devices that are so popular at the moment? Unfortunately they have a lot of the base elements and they can only be found in that part of the world.

It seems to me they've made a few examples with those girls, you wouldn't need a massive secret police force for that.

Offline DTW

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2014, 06:23:15 AM »
China can afford it right now, they're really starting to flourish as an economy. They've provided massive loans for most of the western world when the banks started going under.

Added to that, those fancy touch screen devices that are so popular at the moment? Unfortunately they have a lot of the base elements and they can only be found in that part of the world.

It seems to me they've made a few examples with those girls, you wouldn't need a massive secret police force for that.

But it's not just those girls. There's a lot government monitoring of the Internet. Not that the west doesn't do that but China does it on amuch larger scale. Then there's a lot of people under house arrest which requires more monitors that you're paying. You look at the story of Ai WeiWei. The destruction of his studio? That was expensive and there was  no financial benefit from it. It was a giant waste of money. Stuff like that is not financiallly sustainable from a historic viewpoint. Think about how much money they've lost in tourism. Yeah tourism in China is okay but how much better would it be if vistors weren't scared of the government?
A lot more.   
China's great economically now but there is no way it's going to last. The USSR was once as rich as America , It didn't last. Totalitarianism is expensive .

Offline kylie

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2014, 08:46:11 AM »
            To the best of my knowledge, same-sex relationships are not illegal in China, so I'm not sure what that officer thinks he is going on about as far as "advocating" homosexuality.  Curious.

             I have the impression that China actually doesn't have that much Internet to monitor.  And where they do, they are kind of inept at it.   

             By which I mean...  Half the population still has very low income and spending a great deal of time online is not something everyone can afford.  I am in a smaller city only a few hours' drive from Xian, but I probably spend just slightly less than half what many average workers make each month on my 3G connection!  Some universities (including mine) have infrastructure such that their faculty or certain departments can get online, but they are not generally super high speed.  I have a campus link in my apartment in fact, and even the 3G is faster.  I wouldn't touch a newer MMO with the 3G...  But with the regular wired campus connection, I can barely do more than read email and text-heavy sites (and even that, often crawls).  They don't have all that many lines, I am told.

             On top of all that, if you're not familiar...  China actually blocks what feels like at least half the internet from simple viewing --  it all comes up "page is not available."  Not only Facebook and Youtube, but they shut off whole domains that have been used for one thing or another they apparently didn't like, like say Wordpress.  Some they actually seem to turn off and on again.  There was a while when I needed tunnel software to access Elliquiy, but now it seems to be regularly available again.  Saavy people know ways to get around all this with proxies.  But not everyone is so saavy or working on a computer they can install stuff on, and again certain proxies can slow the connection down too.  There are also some sites that don't allow certain proxies because someone or other out of thousands of users, somewhere-wherever, used them to do something naughty to the site.

          ...  So when the Chinese government says they are going to manage a site, first that assumes they are even going to let their public see it such that anyone "should" be talking about it at all...  And after that, they have to be able to get control of it.  I assume they're talking there about posts on PRC-based domain servers.   However, personally I'm more interested in sites based outside China.  So maybe my view is skewed.  I'm not trying to set up publishing on anything inside the country!   ::)  Naturally, if the question is freedom for people who are working on PRC-based sites, there it's pretty sketchy.

         As for the economy...  I believe it's starting to slow down, along with most everyone else in the more globalized parts of the world.  Still growing (something over 7%), but not making everyone as impressed as it once did.  And there are still tremendous internal challenges like corruption, low quality products including some foods and medicines outright faked, persistently upset ethnic groups (the Uighurs have been attacking every so often this year), and horrendous environmental pollution.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2014, 08:52:10 AM by kylie »

Offline Qt

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2014, 07:14:23 PM »
But it's not just those girls. There's a lot government monitoring of the Internet. Not that the west doesn't do that but China does it on amuch larger scale. Then there's a lot of people under house arrest which requires more monitors that you're paying. You look at the story of Ai WeiWei. The destruction of his studio? That was expensive and there was  no financial benefit from it. It was a giant waste of money. Stuff like that is not financiallly sustainable from a historic viewpoint. Think about how much money they've lost in tourism. Yeah tourism in China is okay but how much better would it be if vistors weren't scared of the government?
A lot more.   
China's great economically now but there is no way it's going to last. The USSR was once as rich as America , It didn't last. Totalitarianism is expensive .

While I'm against internet censorship, you have to understand that the general trend of China is it is opening up, however slightly, however slowly. There's still a difference between China and say the US/UK.

Also, please don't compare the Chinese economy to the USSR. China is effectively a capitalistic country under a one party government, there is no planned economy. The USSR was never as rich as the US, the highest it reached was about 50% of US GDP at the time? Yeah, planned economy just doesn't work. China is still well on it's way to over the the US within ten years time.

As for totalitarianism being expensive... I seriously don't think the US government is so cheap to run either.

Offline consortium11

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2014, 10:22:38 PM »
There's still a difference between China and say the US/UK.

In this example not quite so much...

Every couple of years the UK finds somebody they think they can get a prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act against and take them to court. Normally the people they go after aren't exactly sympathetic; one was a man who wrote a non-con/snuff story about the female pop-group Girls Aloud and the most recent one I'm aware of was a pedophile (who was also convicted of possessing indecent images of children) who described some sick fantasies during an IM conversation but the fear is that it's the thin end of a wedge.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2014, 10:51:16 PM »
A bit unrelated, but Amazon, "removed several abuse-themed e-books from its Kindle Store after a report highlighted titles depicting rape, incest and bestiality" (Source).  They are a private company, so they are free to do this, but I think it reinforces the fact that most people do not view fiction/roleplaying/writing as being inherently detached from reality.  That same type of misconception is likely part of the issue perpetuating such legal action in China.

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2014, 12:05:15 PM »
I despise fan fiction writers in general and I don't exactly have kind words for them, but I think this is more than a little extreme. I would honestly like to see all fan fiction under a sort of ban except for instances where the author explicitly says they don't mind or stories written in open universes such as RPG settings, but for the sake of all that is logical and good in this world these people aren't terrorists. They aren't building bombs or threatening the lives of others. I mean this a damned witch hunt. Not to mention that their motivations are pretty screwed up. They've got slut shaming and homophobia as primary driving forces behind it and that I do not approve of. Also I don't think there's a lot of violent fan fiction out there to begin with. Despite my dislike of fan fiction I would say this is way beyond the realm of an overreaction. Aren't there other things they should be focusing on like murderers, rapists, and perhaps doing something to address corruption in their own government?

Offline Zakharra

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2014, 12:30:59 PM »
I despise fan fiction writers in general and I don't exactly have kind words for them, but I think this is more than a little extreme. I would honestly like to see all fan fiction under a sort of ban except for instances where the author explicitly says they don't mind or stories written in open universes such as RPG settings, but for the sake of all that is logical and good in this world these people aren't terrorists. They aren't building bombs or threatening the lives of others. I mean this a damned witch hunt. Not to mention that their motivations are pretty screwed up. They've got slut shaming and homophobia as primary driving forces behind it and that I do not approve of. Also I don't think there's a lot of violent fan fiction out there to begin with. Despite my dislike of fan fiction I would say this is way beyond the realm of an overreaction. Aren't there other things they should be focusing on like murderers, rapists, and perhaps doing something to address corruption in their own government?

 You do realize that if all fan fiction was banned, it would take down a hell of a lot of sites and likely shut down this one to, since a LOT of stories and RPs here (you can argue that RP is fan fiction too) are based on books, movies and games. Most of it is pretty much all fan fiction.

Offline Mathim

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2014, 02:38:32 PM »
I despise fan fiction writers in general and I don't exactly have kind words for them, but I think this is more than a little extreme. I would honestly like to see all fan fiction under a sort of ban except for instances where the author explicitly says they don't mind or stories written in open universes such as RPG settings, but for the sake of all that is logical and good in this world these people aren't terrorists. They aren't building bombs or threatening the lives of others. I mean this a damned witch hunt. Not to mention that their motivations are pretty screwed up. They've got slut shaming and homophobia as primary driving forces behind it and that I do not approve of. Also I don't think there's a lot of violent fan fiction out there to begin with. Despite my dislike of fan fiction I would say this is way beyond the realm of an overreaction. Aren't there other things they should be focusing on like murderers, rapists, and perhaps doing something to address corruption in their own government?

Whoa, you hate the WRITERS and not just the stuff they write? I'm not sure how to react to that. It shouldn't matter to anybody anyway since if they're not making money off it and you aren't required to read it, why should you care, right? Or maybe I'm missing something. But this post just had me being taken aback quite a ways. Never seen such a hostile reaction to fan fiction from an individual, let alone a Big Brother government.

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2014, 09:41:52 AM »
Banning all fan-fiction would, of course, have to include any child telling a story about Superman or Batman, or how Rainbow Dash and Captain Picard saved G.I. Joe and Spiderman from the clutches of Maleficent and Loki.

(What?  Give a bunch of kids some action figures.  This happens.)

Offline Denivar

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2014, 01:11:12 AM »
I despise fan fiction writers in general and I don't exactly have kind words for them, but I think this is more than a little extreme. I would honestly like to see all fan fiction under a sort of ban except for instances where the author explicitly says they don't mind or stories written in open universes such as RPG settings

Given how much copyright infringement goes on in China I'm pretty sure all this has nothing to do with any kind of copyright infringement concerns and the same action would be taken whether the stories were original or "fan fiction".

FWIW I personally don't really enjoy writing fan fiction -- prefer making up my own settings for stories -- but I think that fan fiction should and does fall under 'fair use' under most country's copyright laws. As somebody who makes video games for a living, I would never go after a fan who loved content I created so much that they wanted to make 'fan fiction' based on it. I think any content creator who does so is making a grave error and only hurting themselves.

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2014, 01:50:05 AM »
Given how much copyright infringement goes on in China I'm pretty sure all this has nothing to do with any kind of copyright infringement concerns and the same action would be taken whether the stories were original or "fan fiction".

That about sums up what a friend of mine said during a discussion on this topic.  Remember, this is the country that probably had more knockoffs of Harry Potter than books in the original series.

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2014, 10:49:51 AM »
Given how much copyright infringement goes on in China I'm pretty sure all this has nothing to do with any kind of copyright infringement concerns and the same action would be taken whether the stories were original or "fan fiction".

FWIW I personally don't really enjoy writing fan fiction -- prefer making up my own settings for stories -- but I think that fan fiction should and does fall under 'fair use' under most country's copyright laws. As somebody who makes video games for a living, I would never go after a fan who loved content I created so much that they wanted to make 'fan fiction' based on it. I think any content creator who does so is making a grave error and only hurting themselves.
I would beg to differ. It's a slap in the face to the author.
To quote Sharon Lee "I don’t want “other people interpreting” our characters. Interpreting our characters is what Steve and I do; it’s our job. Nobody else is going to get it right. This may sound rude and elitist, but honestly, it’s not easy for us to get it right sometimes, and we’ve been living with these characters. . .for a very long time... We built our universes, and our characters; they are our intellectual property; and they are not toys lying about some virtual sandbox for other kids to pick up and modify at their whim. Steve and I do not sanction fanfic written in our universes; any such work that exists, exists without our permission, and certainly without our support." Who are you to mess around with someone else's creation and distort it? A lot of fan fiction to me suggests that people latch onto one aspect and can't appreciate the work as it is which I think is pretty damn insulting to the author. Any dilution or distortion of the work reaps no real benefits.

http://web.archive.org/web/20051124223715/www.robinhobb.com/rant.html

Offline Rhapsody

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2014, 10:59:33 AM »
I despise fan fiction writers in general and I don't exactly have kind words for them, but I think this is more than a little extreme.

Do, uh, you realize what site you're on?

But hey, good to know I among many, many, MANY others am despised "in general" for what amounts to writing exercises, creative exploration, and a generally non-injurious hobby.

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2014, 11:26:18 AM »
I'd also like to reiterate that China's crackdown has nothing to do with copyright infringement.  China has no respect for copyright, as the link I posted above so clearly indicates.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2014, 11:36:28 AM »
Do, uh, you realize what site you're on?

 :D

Offline Zakharra

Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2014, 11:47:55 AM »
I would beg to differ. It's a slap in the face to the author.
To quote Sharon Lee "I don’t want “other people interpreting” our characters. Interpreting our characters is what Steve and I do; it’s our job. Nobody else is going to get it right. This may sound rude and elitist, but honestly, it’s not easy for us to get it right sometimes, and we’ve been living with these characters. . .for a very long time... We built our universes, and our characters; they are our intellectual property; and they are not toys lying about some virtual sandbox for other kids to pick up and modify at their whim. Steve and I do not sanction fanfic written in our universes; any such work that exists, exists without our permission, and certainly without our support." Who are you to mess around with someone else's creation and distort it? A lot of fan fiction to me suggests that people latch onto one aspect and can't appreciate the work as it is which I think is pretty damn insulting to the author. Any dilution or distortion of the work reaps no real benefits.

http://web.archive.org/web/20051124223715/www.robinhobb.com/rant.html

 Many authors and artists and game designers apparently have little problem with it. Just because you have an issue with it doesn't mean all of it should be outlawed. You apparently hate/despise fan fiction writers. That's fine for you, but don't go and try to say that all fan fics should be banned/made illegal. That would shut down many sites, including this one you're on now. A lot of stories and playing is fan fiction. You'd outlaw all of that.  :|

Offline Valthazar

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2014, 12:10:54 PM »
I would beg to differ. It's a slap in the face to the author.

A lot of fan fiction to me suggests that people latch onto one aspect and can't appreciate the work as it is which I think is pretty damn insulting to the author. Any dilution or distortion of the work reaps no real benefits.

A person playing music on their stereo at the beach technically violates copyright laws.  While the music artist has every right to object to this, very few do since it is basically free marketing.  As an example, 50 cent intentionally permitted the piracy of his songs online for free exposure when he started off, which helped him fast-track his career.  However, I agree with you that unless specifically stated, we must be mindful of copyright.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2014, 12:26:55 PM »
A person playing music on their stereo at the beach technically violates copyright laws.  While the music artist has every right to object to this, very few do since it is basically free marketing.  As an example, 50 cent intentionally permitted the piracy of his songs online for free exposure when he started off, which helped him fast-track his career.  However, I agree with you that unless specifically stated, we must be mindful of copyright.

True, and just as clearly, anyone who goes to Youtube and uploads their own rendition of a song that's previously been in the commercial market (from Louis Armstrong to Led Zeppelin to Justin Bieber) without seeking permission from the original record label and the copyright holders is a blatant copyright infringer - technically. If they'd release it on a single, any serious band would seek that kind of permission, but on Youtube it's mostly a non-offence. The music industry have basically accepted it; no one is wasting manpower on chasing down millions of people who are doing this since it's seen as free publicity. Even uploads of the real thing - the authorized recordings of a song, clips from a dvd or from a tv show performed by the original artists, uploaded by all kinds of folks -  often get greeted with a yawn by the copyright owners. And this is under U.S. law, not Chinese law.

Offline kylie

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Re: China's witch hunt...of slash fiction writers
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2014, 03:54:33 PM »
          One thing you do see, and I'm not sure exactly how much is directly tied to copyright concerns but I think some would be...

          Some artists or companies restrict the distribution of their goods by country.  There are quite a lot of videos even on Youtube that are not normally viewable in China, or indeed in many other countries.  I don't have specific data, but I see it pretty often and I hear it from many others (in various countries, including around Europe) on sites where videos are run as a sort of background entertainment.

             I'm quite skeptical of some arguments I'd expect to hear in support of this...  But I think the virtues or failures of international copyright as we now know it, have been discussed in other threads at some length.  And more immediately, that discussion may soon go far off questions particular to China.