Who’s Afraid of the Big bad Words?


It’s a well known fact that, in 2011, fearing the Arab uprisings might spread farther to the east, Chinese censorship banned from search engines such keywords as “Tunisia”, “Egypt” or even “Jasmine” after having anathematized “Tibet” and other profanities like “Human Rights”.

As no secrets can last very long in the online world, we’ve been able to gain access, in a few clicks, to a very instructive confidential official document: a list of potentially embarrassing words drawn up by the Chinese cyber police—words that are to be banned the minute a much dreaded wide-scale rebellion will appear in China.

In this small book, we could publish only a revealing extract of this extremely long list. As we were keen to shed light on the social unrest in the Middle Kingdom, we’ve added our own explanations to the rather twisted reasons put forward by the cyber cops of the Bureau of Keyword Harmony.