China wants to ban your mum

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Wednesday 03 June 2015 14:00
Science and Tech

China has apparently suggested the phrase "your mum" should be banned from cyberspace, thus ruining the internet for all 14-year-olds.

Bloomberg reports Lu Wei, the head of the government-run Cyberspace Administration of China told a symposium attended by the heads of Chinese internet companies that the Mandarin-equivalent of the phrase was too "coarse".

“We should clear the smog of coarse language and the Internet companies should take the responsibility to do so,” Bloomberg quotes his colleague, Jiang Jun, as saying.

The Mandarin-equivalent of "your mum" was said to be the most popular offensive term used on Sina Weibo (basically Chinese Twitter) last year. Also on the Chinese government's long list of potentially banned words is the Mandarin version of the f-word.

Online censorship is rife in the country, with the country's approach to blocking sites known as the "great firewall of China". Services such as Google, YouTube, Facebook Instagram and Twitter have all been blocked in the country.

While a ban on "your mum" sounds difficult to implement in practice, Weibo's senior manager for government affairs Yan Yuanping told the symposium the site could filter vulgar words and immediately delete posts including coarse language.

Weibo has been censored before - here's a graph showing inaccessible posts in the months before and then during mass pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last September.

More: Web censorship in China since Hong Kong protests began in one chart

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