The Washington Post obtained a list of keywords used by a Chinese blog service provider to flag offensive material. Of 236 items on the list, 18 were obscenities. The rest were related to politics or current affairs.
Most words on this list can be posted on Chinese Web sites, but their presence quietly alerts editors to examine the messages that contain them and possibly take action. In tests, postings that included long sections of the list were allowed to remain on several sites, but quickly removed from others. One site also blocked the computer used to conduct the tests from posting anything else.
In addition, on most sites, at least some of the sensitive phrases cannot be posted at all. Depending on the site, filters replace the offending words with asterisks or block the entire message.