Sensitive Words: June 4th

“Internet Maintenance Day” has come again. As in previous years, Weibo is attempting to censor all discussion of June 4th, banning search terms like “6+4″ (as in 6/4, June 4th) and “today.” In the WorldPost, CDT compares banned keywords from this year and years past, while Jason Ng discusses 64 blocked searches in the Wall Street Journal. The blog Fei Chang Dao is also tracking censorship surrounding the 25th anniversary of June 4th.

Many of the blocked searches listed below have been blocked before. See our Sensitive Words posts from June 2012 and June 2013, and searches banned on May 22 and May 27 of this year.

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

  • 今天: today
  • 89+(任意字符): 89+(any keyword)
  • 廿五周年: twenty-fifth anniversary
  • 致敬: pay respects
  • anniversary
  • viiv: Roman numerals for six and four, i.e. June 4th (“Six Four” 六四).
  • 己巳月+乙未日: Jisi month+Yiwei day. In the traditional 60-year cycle, the first term is equivalent to May-June 1989, the second to a number of dates in the same year including June 4.
  • june 4
  • Jun+4th
  • 6+4
  • 63+1
  • 65-1
  • 六+四: six+four
  • 六4: six4
  • 6四: 6four
  • liusi: pinyin for “Six Four” (六四 Liù Sì)
  • bajiu: pinyin for “Eight Nine” (八九 Bā Jiǔ), i.e. 1989
  • 陆肆: six four
  • 陆四: six four
  • 六肆: six four
  • 捌玖: eight nine
  • 捌九: eight nine
  • 八玖: eight nine
  • 六four: six FOUR (combination of Chinese character and English)
  • six四: SIX four (combination of character and English)
  • six+four
  • 8的平方: square of 8, i.e. 64
  • 八的平方: square of eight
  • 祭奠: memorial ceremony
  • 黑衫: black shirt
  • 烛光: candlelight
  • 维园: Victoria Park – a candlelight vigil for victims of the crackdown is held every year in Victoria Park, Hong Kong.
  • 蜡烛: candle
  • 平反: redress
  • tank man
  • TAM: short for Tiananmen
  • tiananmen
  • 天安门: Tiananmen
  • 广场: square
  • 占占人: characters used as pictures to respresent a person standing in front of tanks
  • 占占点: person being crushed by tanks
  • 占点占: person being crushed by tanks
  • 反官倒: oppose official profiteering
  • 坦克: tank
  • 戒严: impose martial law
  • 学运: student movement
  • 学潮: student strike
  • 北京+屠城: Beijing+massacre all the inhabitants of a conquered city
  • 丁子霖: Ding Zilin – Mother of a teenager killed on June 4th and founder of the organization Tiananmen Mothers.
  • 邓屠夫: Deng The Butcher – i.e. Deng Xiaoping
  • 胡耀邦: Hu Yaobang – Liberal Party leader whose death on April 8, 1989 sparked pro-democracy protests
  • 赵紫阳: Zhao Ziyang – Hu’s successor as Party General Secretary. For his support of the student protesters, Zhao was purged from the Party and put under house arrest for the rest of his life.
  • 袁木: Yuan Mu – State Council Information Office spokesman during the 1989 protests and apologist for the regime.
  • 严家其: Yan Jiaqi – sociology student who went into exile in the US.

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.

Have a sensitive word tip? Submit it to CDT through this form: