Sensitive Words: 24th Anniversary of Tiananmen

"Don't you know about the praying mantis that waved its arms angrily in front of an approaching carriage," warned the philosopher Zhuangzi, "unaware that they were incapable of stopping it? Such was the high opinion it had of its talents" (Burton Watson, trans.). Images of the angry mantis facing a car wheel are circulating online today.

“Don’t you know about the praying mantis that waved its arms angrily in front of an approaching carriage,” warned the philosopher Zhuangzi, “unaware that they were incapable of stopping it? Such was the high opinion it had of its talents” (Burton Watson, trans.). Images of the angry mantis facing a car wheel are circulating online today.

In 2012, CDT identified 118 terms blocked from Weibo search results around the anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. Many of those terms are now blocked again. There is also overlap between this list and Jason Ng’s automated test results, reported today by Citizen Lab.

CDT reported more censored keywords related to Tiananmen on May 25 and 28. Compare this year’s blocked terms to last year’s (lists one and two).

As of June 3, the following search terms are blocked on Sina (not including the “search for user” function).

Numbers and Dates:
• 35: Shorthand for May 35th.
• 63+1: 64, i.e. June 4.
• 65-1: 64.
• 24 years (24年): It is the 24th anniversary of the massacre.
• june
• Jun+4th
• thirty-five (三十五)
• twenty-four (二十四)
• six+four (六+四)
• six 4 (六4)
• 6 four (6四)
• liusi: Pinyin for “six four” (六四 liù sì).
• bajiu: Pinyin for “eight nine” (八九 bā jiǔ).
• six four (陆肆)
• six four (陆四)
• six four (六肆)
• eight nine (捌玖)
• eight nine (捌九)
• eight nine (八玖)
• six four (六four)
• six four (six四)
• six+four
• eight eight (八八): 8×8=64

• today (今天)
• tomorrow (明天)
• that year (那年)
• that day (那天)
• special day (特殊的日子)

Commemoration:
• Ai Xiaoming (艾晓明): Prof. Ai of Sun Yat-sen University is calling for people to wear black shirts in remembrance of Tiananmen. Meanwhile, Shenzhen University is cracking down on the black shirt movement.
• Victoria Park (维园)
• evening event (晚会)
• candle (蜡烛): Like last June, Sina Weibo has removed the candle emoticon.
• black shirt (黑衫)
• redress (平反)
• commemorate (纪念)

Places:
• TAM: Abbreviation for Tiananmen.
• tiananmen
• square
• Tiananmen (天安门)
• square (广场): As in Tiananmen Square (天安门广场).
• Jinshuiqiao (金水桥)
• Changan Avenue (长安街)
• Muxidi (木樨地)
• Gongzhufen (公主坟)

Events:
• take to the streets (上街)
• against bureaucratic profiteering (反官倒): The first half of a slogan from the Tiananmen protests. The second half is “against corruption” (反腐败).
• tank (坦克)
• martial law (戒严)
• student movement (学运)
• student strike (学潮)
• suppress (镇压)
• massacre (屠杀)
• march (游行)
• Beijing massacred (北京屠城): 屠城 túchéng literally means to slaughter all the inhabitants of a conquered city.

People:
• Ding Zilin (丁子霖)
• Zhang Xianling (张先玲)
• Hu Yaobang (胡耀邦)
• Zhao Ziyang (赵紫阳)
• Li Peng (李鹏)
• Yuan Mu (袁木)
• Yan Jiaqi (严家其)

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 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.