Sensitive Words (Update)

As of August 15, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

  • stand-in (替身): Some netizens are speculating that Zhou Kehua, the serial killer shot dead by Chongqing police, is still alive, and that a stand-in lost his life instead. A CDT reader has pointed out that this term was blocked before Zhou was found and shot. Instead, “stand-in” more likely refers to Gu Kailai, who looked much heavier than usual at her trial last week, leading some to believe a body double stood trial in her place. The more common term for body doubles hired to stand trial and serve sentences, 顶罪 dǐngzuì, remains searchable.
  • naked photos (裸照): The people in group sex photos circulated on Weibo were thought to be Anhui county-level officials. They are not, although one of the men pictured lost his post at Hefei University over the incident.
  • vulgar photos (不雅照)
  • Wen Shizhen (温世珍): The mayor of Tianjin under the Provisional Government of the Republic of China (1937-1940), Wen was executed by the Communists in 1951. He is now rumored to be Wen Jiabao’s uncle.
  • fox plague (狐瘟 hú wēn): Sounds like “Hu” [Jintao] (胡) and “Wen” [Jiabao] (温).

Note: All Chinese-language words are tested using simplified characters. The same terms in traditional characters occasionally return different results.

CDT Chinese runs a project that crowd-sources filtered keywords on Sina Weibo search. CDT independently tests the keywords before posting them, but some searches later become accessible again. We welcome readers to contribute to this project so that we can include the most up-to-date information. To add words, check out the form at the bottom of CDT Chinese’s latest sensitive words post.