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Sunday, 15 April 2007

China is to deploy cop avatars on some Web sites, reports The China Post, an English-language Taiwanese newspaper.

They are "animated police figures", like "the uniformed Jingjing and Chacha, two smiling male and female cartoon figures who float astride surfboard-like keyboards" who were used to patrol Shenzhen Web sites. They will target "harmful material and information" and "illicit activities".

"The existence of these problems has affected the healthy development of the Internet, brought harm to the youths' minds, contaminated the social ethos and disrupted the social order," [Xinhua news agency] quoted vice-minister of public security Zhang Xinfeng as saying.

Porn and fraud are the stated targets, but we all know that they will also target anything to do with democratisation. The Times reports that Zhang also said that “content that spreads rumours and is of a slanderous nature” would be blocked.

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