Sensitive Words: The Umbrella Revolution

As of October 1, the following search terms are blocked on Weibo (not including the “search for user” function).

As protests for electoral reform continue in Hong Kong, more related terms are blocked from Weibo search results. The terms below add to the list of banned search terms CDT collected on September 29.

Umbrella Revolution

  • 雨伞革命: umbrella revolution–So called after protesters used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas. #UmbrellaRevolution and #UmbrellaMovement are trending on Twitter.
  • 遮打革命: Chater revolution–Chater Garden is next to the Legislative Council offices in Central.
  • 伞花革命: umbrella flower revolution


Mainland Propaganda




Also Blocked

  • 谁还未发声: Do You Hear the People Sing–The rallying cry from the musical Les Misérables emerged as a Hong Kong protest song earlier this year. The Chinese authorities have ordered that mainland websites delete music videos of the song with new Cantonese lyrics.
  • 公民提名: citizen nomination
  • 添马公园: Tamar Park
  • 胡椒喷雾: pepper spray
  • 示威+胡(椒): demonstrate + hu: The first character in “pepper” (胡椒 hujiao) is blocked when searched in combination with “demonstrate.”
  • 香港+清场: Hong Kong + clear the square
  • 基本法+23(条): Basic Law + (Article) 23–If signed into law, Article 23 would criminalize subversion of the “Central People’s Government.” Protests in 2003 forced the Hong Kong government to shelve the bill indefinitely. First block detected July 2, 2013.


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:


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