The Strangest Words Censored In Red China (And Why They Are Banned From Weibo)

The Strangest Words Censored In Red China (And Why They Are Banned From Weibo)

The word “toad” was banned from Weibo after a giant inflatable toad was seen floating on a lake at the Yuyuantan Park in Beijing, July 19, 2014. Former president Jiang Zemin was nicknamed The Toad. 

Every June when millions of people worldwide are commemorating the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest, thousands of censors hired by China’s Internet companies are working in overdrive to remove words deemed sensitive by the government from social media.

The demonstration led by students attracted over 1 million protesters to occupy the iconic square during the spring of 1989 for seven weeks demanding political reforms. After much debate within the Communist Party of China, the government deployed armed soldiers and tanks to clear the square by force. Since then it has been suppressing discussions about the protest by censoring books, media programs and digital content related to the issue.

Required to cooperate with the government, Internet companies delete any reference to the protest. Search engines return no results when people search for words related to the issue.

These words were picked from a crowdsourced list contributed by Weibo users:


Candles in censored in Red China!!!!  Wow. Candle sellers probably not happy about that one.

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