China’s Strict Anti-Porn Laws Sweep Up Whispering ‘Tingle’ Videos

Under China’s strict and even draconian censorship laws, creating or selling porn—which the Chinese Communist Party calls “spiritual pollution”—is a crime that could come with a life sentence. But now, according to a report by the state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua, the government of China is targeting an increasingly popular genre of video, many examples of which can be seen on YouTube, that mainly features young Chinese women whispering into a microphone, or stroking the mic against their fully clothed legs.

The “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response,” or AMSR, genre is designed not to sexually arouse viewers, but to trigger a tingling sensation that occurs naturally in some people in response to specific audio signals. Fans of the genre often say that they find the videos relaxing and even sleep inducing.

According to the United States National Institute of Health, “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a previously unstudied sensory phenomenon, in which individuals experience a tingling, static-like sensation across the scalp, back of the neck and at times further areas in response to specific triggering audio and visual stimuli. This sensation is widely reported to be accompanied by feelings of relaxation and well-being.”

In a 2015 study of 475 people at the Swansea University in Wales, only about five percent of the subjects showed any sort of sexual response to AMSR videos. Most fans of AMSR, the researchers found, use the videos as method of stress reduction.

But according to the Chinese government, AMSR is nothing but porn, at least in many cases. China’s National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications last week ordered several online platforms that specialize in AMSR videos to scour their content for anything that could be construed as pornography.

“A large part of the audience of ASMR audiences is young people. All Internet companies must earnestly fulfill their main responsibilities, increase their efforts in cleaning up and rectifying, strictly implementing content review mechanisms, and establishing a system of protection of minors to filter out content that may cause harm to minors,” the Office said in a public announcement

The statement went on to say that Chinese law enforcement authorities will “vigorously investigate and handle cases and pursue those who v*****e the law,” meaning the online platforms that stream AMSR content that the government deems “pornographic.”

The videos sometimes features women chewing food, tapping the microphones, or even stroking the mics with a Q-tip, all to produce the types of sounds that trigger the “tingling” response in viewers.

Photo via YouTube Screen Capture

Originally published at: https://avn.com/business/articles/legal/chinas-strict-anti-porn-laws-sweep-up-whispering-tingle-videos-781473.html

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