Quote of the Week: “Irresponsible Remarks”
On August 10, 2010, the education bureau of Pizhou City, Jiangxi Province issued an official document to all secondary and private schools. After stating that three Pizhou teachers had recently been detained for spreading rumors online, it instructed all teachers to
…pay attention to their images, be mindful of politics, speak about the big picture, refrain from doing things that are not to be done, and from irresponsibly remarking on things which ought not be remarked upon.
Campaigns against online rumors have become common in China. In the summer of 2013 central authorities launched a massive anti-rumor campaign—complete with a legal interpretation sanctioning prison time and fines for digital rumor-mongers—in which many influential microbloggers were targeted.
The Word of the Week comes from China Digital Space’s Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and frequently encountered in online political discussions. These are the words of China’s online “resistance discourse,” used to mock and subvert the official language around censorship and political correctness.