Sensitive Words: The Rape of Southern Weekly

Tuo the Great Controls the Waters (Dashix)

In an unusual expression of outrage, Southern Weekly writers, editors, and former interns signed an open letter expressing their anger over the rewriting of their New Year’s message and the “rape” of their paper. The paper’s original editorial, “China’s Dream, the Dream of Constitutionalism,” succumbed to a bland propagandist piece complete with an egregious factual error.

As of January 4, the following search terms are blocked on Sina Weibo (not including the “search for user” function):

- Tuo (庹)
- Lump (坨): “Lump” (tuó) sounds like the surname of Tuo Zhen (Tuǒ). Tuo is the head of the Guangdong Propaganda Department, and is suspected of penning the sycophantic Party message which replaced the original New Year’s piece.
- Southern Weekly (南方周末)
- Nan Zhou (南周): abbreviation for Southern Weekly.
- open letter (公开信)
- 2000 + Yu the Great Controls the Waters (2000+大禹治水): The open letter notes that the final version of the editorial stated that legendary emperor Yu the Great devised innovative new flood management 2000 years ago. In fact, Yu is said to have founded the Xia Dynasty, and lived from about 2200 to 2100 B.C.E.–at least 4200 years ago.
- New Year’s greeting (新年献词)

See also the list of censored search results from yesterday.

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 sensitive words in this bilingual Google spreadsheet.

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.