Phrase of the Week: Use the Internet Scientifically

Phrase of the Week: Use the Internet Scientifically

The  comes from the Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon, a glossary of terms created by Chinese netizens and 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.

科学上网 (kēxué shàngwǎng): use the Internet scientifically


“Use the Internet scientifically, scale the Great Firewall.” (Source: YouTube)

To navigate around the Great Firewall and reach the free Internet. Parodies former president Hu Jintao’s “scientific outlook on development,” a slogan meant to embody Marxist ideology as well as material development. Netizens talk about “using the Internet scientifically” in order to discuss circumvention techniques while on Chinese platforms, such as Weibo.

A Google Chrome app called Use the Internet Scientifically was launched on March 21, 2015.

Example of “use the Internet scientifically”:

BenbenbendeBenny (@笨笨笨的Benny): Oh no! No wonder I’m trapped behind the wall! A whole bunch of tools to use the Internet scientifically have almost all stopped working. Can’t they let a guy live? I just want to check Google+… (March 25, 2015)

糟糕!难道我是要被困在墙内了么!一把的科学上网工具几乎全部失效,这还让不让人活了啦!我就是想去下Google+嘛… [Chinese]

See also scale the wall.

Want to learn more subversive netizen slang? Check out Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang. Available for $2.99 in the Kindle, Google Play, and iTunes stores. All proceeds from the sale of this eBook support China Digital Times.


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