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Laying bare on chat!

Most Chinese are found to expose and perform provocative acts during their online chat.

entertainment Updated: Aug 31, 2005 17:08 IST

A Chinese researcher has warned of a new threat to public health and morality- naked Internet chatting. Up to 20,000 Chinese log on to chat rooms each night in various states of undress and communicate using webcams, the

Shanghai Daily

newspaper said recently, citing China Youth Association researcher Liu Gang.

"At first, we thought it was merely a game for a few mentally abnormal people," the paper quoted Liu as saying. "But as our research continued, we found the problem was much larger than expected."

The report said participants chat online while exposing themselves and performing provocative poses.

Liu said he gathered data on 10 site participants, eight of whom were single men aged 25-35 without steady jobs, it said. "Child development authorities worry that baring one's body to strangers will have negative consequences on a youngster's personal growth," the paper said.

China has tightened policing of the Web following alarms over blogs, chat rooms, and instant messages that have challenged restrictions on content.

China has more than 87 million Internet users, the second largest after the United States.

First Published: Aug 31, 2005 02:00 IST