The Words That Scare America— and China
(Please see update(s) below.) For our special May 35 edition (look it up), a comparison of the words that can get you in trouble with the authorities in the world's two leading powers.
GreatFire's list of blocked keywords contains some English and many Chinese entries. Here is a brief part of the English section. The * marks are for wildcards, and 什么 means "what?" or "what is?":
blood is on the square
chinese people eating babies
In every one of those terms (and this is a tiny sample) is a whole saga for people following the Chinese developments. More details on GreatFire's site, plus this explanation by Bill Bishop on Sinocism. I have theories about what the lists say about each country, and about the beyond-national-differences workings of security-state agencies, but I'll skip them for now.
UPDATE China Digital Times goes into detail about the sensitive terms, and allows users to add updates, in English and Chinese postings.
Update2: Several readers have noted that I included the DHS/TSA list of touchy words as an image, rather than as pasted-in text. You're right! This was no accident. I figured I didn't need to ask for more trouble in TSA screening lines by putting up a post with all sensitive terms back to back.
I'm kidding, mostly. But the use of an image rather than text was intentional.: While on the road, I had missed Rebecca Rosen's very good previous item about the US list.