Sensitive Words: Censorship Gets a Personal Touch (Correction)

Correction: Southern Weekend (南方周末) has adopted the English name Southern Weekly. This post has been changed to reflect the official title of the paper.
Southern Weekly’s annual New Year’s greeting was utterly mangled this year. A rousing argument for China’s “dream of constitutionalism” was excised by the censors, and it seems that the new head of Guangdong’s Propaganda Department, former Xinhua News Agency Deputy Head Tuo Zhen, held the knife himself. Now three versions of the editorial are available online, including the original, a draft checked by the censors, and the final version attributed to Tuo. China Media Project has an in-depth look at the emerging story.
The text of the original, uncensored editorial is available from CDT Chinese here [zh].
As of January 3, the following search terms are blocked on Sina Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):
- Tuo Zhen (庹震)
- Lump Zhen (坨震): “Lump” (坨 tuó) sounds like Tuo (庹 Tuǒ).
- measure (尺度): These two characters “spell” out Tuo (庹): the first character in “measure” (尺) is a component of Tuo’s surname, while the second character (度) includes some of the same component parts as Tuo. “Measure” also implies the “scale of censorship” (审查尺度) imposed by Tuo. He has, in fact, earned the online nickname “Minister of Measure” (尺度部长).
- China dream + dream of constitutionalism (中国梦+宪政梦): The title of the original article was “China’s Dream, the Dream of Constitutionalism.”
- Guangdong + Propaganda Department (广东+宣传部)
- Southern Weekly + New Year’s greeting (南方周末+新年献词)
- Nan Zhou + New Year’s greeting (南周+新年献词): “Nan Zhou” is an abbreviation for Southern Weekly (南方周末 Nánfāng Zhōumò).
- minister (部长): e.g. Minister Tuo. Re-tested.
All Chinese-language words are tested using simplified characters. The same terms in traditional characters occasionally return different results.
Browse all of CDT’s collected

...
« Back to Article

One Response to Sensitive Words: Censorship Gets a Personal Touch (Correction)

  1. BobbyWong says:

    Anne, I was able to search news.baidu and http://www.baidu with key term “南周新年献词” and find plenty of critical coverage on the issue.

    The first link from the Baidu news search is an article from Caixun titled “Altered New Years Article Hijacking Southern Weekly And Beyond” dated Jan 4 (篡改新年献词 被绑架的不止是南周 财讯 2013-01-04 13:50:00) .

    Also, are you going tell you readers China Digital Times recieves funding from US goveerment via NED grants?