Write and Wrong

Southern Metropolis Daily reported on September 28, 2010, that a secondary school teacher in the Guangdong manufacturing hub of Dongguan was arrested on September 26 for “distributing pornographic materials” after posting a novel online about massage parlors in the city. The language teacher, whose real name was not revealed by the newspaper, writes online under the alias “Tianya Lan Yao Shi” (天涯蓝药师). The teacher’s wife told Southern Metropolis Daily that the novel in question, “In Dongguan” (在东莞), is not at all pornographic but rather is “a novel of factually based criticism.” The novel reportedly received over two million visits after being posted to a forum at Tianya, one of China’s most popular forum sites. In this cartoon, posted by artist Cao Yi (曹一) to his blog at QQ.com, an author in handcuffs peers worriedly from the cover of an e-book labeled “In Dongguan.” Over his chains are written the words, “crime of distributing pornographic materials.” Cao writes: “If even an online novel can be construed as pornographic material, and its author can be slapped with the crime of distributing pornographic materials, what else in the world can an author write?”

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