For the past few months, China has been embarking on a nationwide initiative to crack down on pornography, which has led to the government shutting down more than a hundred websites, as well as thousands of accounts on social networking websites like Sina Weibo.

Now, the country is taking the fight against Internet smut to the next level by issuing a call for applications for “sexual content appraisers,” or young people who are required to sit at a computer and evaluate “erotic content” all day. Translation: Their job is to watch a ton o’ free porn.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, thousands of people have applied for the position of “sexual content appraiser,” which requires they not only screen the Internet for “yellow” content (a euphemism for explicit content in China), but also for videos and images of women in sleeveless tops or bikinis, as well as “sensual content between animated characters online.” The job pays about $32,000 a year, and is open to Chinese people aged between 20 and 35.

Although the Chinese government has referred to this Cleaning the Web initiative as an attempt to “protect public morals,” many view it as part of a wider effort to stamp out freedom of expression online. The country's complex assortment of tools for online censorship, known as the Great Firewall of China, blocks politically sensitive keywords and Western sites like Facebook and Twitter, among other things.

Last month, the government’s anti-obscenity campaign came to a head when the Beijing government fined online media giant Sina Corp. $800,000 for hosting pornographic content, revoking two of Sina’s online publishing licenses. The government told reporters they had found “20 articles and four videos containing pornographic and lewd content” on Sina’s sites. In response to the fines, Sina issued a statement on its website, saying it felt “sorry and ashamed” for failing to properly monitor its content.

In the wake of the Sina scandal, the Chinese government is apparently tightening the reins on its anti-obscenity initiative by hiring these individual “content appraisers” to make sure such slipups don’t happen again. But to those who think being a Chinese porn censor is watching jiggling butts and boobs on a Mac screen all day, think again, says a police officer who works as a “sexual content appraiser” in the city of Harbin.

“All I am thinking about is whether the content meets the standards for sexual content, or whether the content in the video or disc is publicly advertising sex, or showing sex,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “Some people think it’s just watching porn, but it’s not. Sometimes it makes me throw up.”

H/T Hollywood Reporter | Photo via stalio/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)