Maybe this giant sculpture in a Changchun amusement park got it GFWed? [From Jaunted]
Yesterday morning, Changchun (长春) became a sensitive word on QQ. The best thing about it: Not only is 长春 a city – making it “The first Chinese city to ever become a sensitive word in China” – it’s also the name of the current CPC Propaganda Chief.
While things are back to normal now, this is not the first time Changchun got on the list of banned words on QQ. Back in April, posts were already going up saying that “Changchun” was no longer kosher. Changchun (the city) Evening News called QQ up to ask them about it, and were told in reply:
“During a test, “Changchun” became a sensitive word, and there was nothing we could do to fix it. Sensitive word filters come down to us from the national level, Tencent customer service personnel do not have the authority to understand why [certain words have been blocked]. We recommend you change your name.”
When the newspaper called Tencent yesterday to ask why their city’s name had been blocked again, Tencent responded that the state provides a uniform filter system that can not be arbitrarily changed. There are no specific provisions or criteria for what becomes a sensitive word, so they have no idea why “Changchun” been re-added to the sensitive word list.
In March, netizens began reporting that certain search terms like “carrot” and “temperature” were not loading on Google – though they still worked on Baidu. Soon, they realized that those words shared characters with the names of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao.
Maybe something similar is happening. After all, Li Changchun does hold the reigns to the propaganda department of the CPC. Maybe every now and then, he decides that people on chat platforms ought not to search his name – the fact that he shares it with a city of 3.58 million be damned!
[h/t to @isaac]