China Digital Space

Wall

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qiáng

Without the use of special bypassing methods, Facebook, as well as YouTube and Twitter, are blocked by the Great Firewall of China.

Literally meaning "wall," this reference to the Great Firewall of China is used in several subversive netizen-created terms.

Perhaps the most commonly used subversive term derived from "wall" is "scale the wall" (fān qiáng 翻墙), which is what savvy netizens must do if they wish to access a page blocked domestically.

In Mandarin, "wall" (qiáng 墙) sounds the same as the word "strong" (qiáng 强). The character for "strong" is a component in a number of Chinese words. To make reference to the Great Firewall of China, netizens often substitute the character for "strong" with the character for "wall." The related netizen term "wall nation" (qiángguó 墙国) plays on the phrase "mighty nation" (qiángguó 墙国), which is often used in official rhetoric portraying China's rise as its rightful return to superpower status. Other terms include "Wall Nation Forum" (Qiángguó Lùntán 墙国论坛), used to mock overly-nationalistic web users and deriving from a popular state-run media BBS; and "wall-rape" (qiángjiān 墙奸), a reference to the effect the Great Firewall has on sensitive overseas websites.

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