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Chinese bloggers use 'carrot' and 'Teletubbies' codenames to evade censors

Chinese bloggers use 'carrot' and 'Teletubbies' codenames to evade censors


Chinese bloggers have turned to codelike puns to express political opinions without falling afoul of government censors.

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As the Chinese government cracks down on popular blogging platforms like Sina Weibo by censoring messages and requiring registration, netizens are turning to creative codes to express their opinions, reports the AFP. President Hu Jintao, for example, becomes "carrot," based on a shared character between the word and his name. The same rule turns high-ranking Party official Zhou Yongkang into "Master Kong," a brand of noodle, and Premier Wen Jiabao into "Teletubbies." Thus, a rumored political divide prompted this message: "For today's tug of war, carrot and Teletubby have patiently waited for years, which is not easy."

This latest code is reminiscent of the "grass-mud horse," a double entendre created in response to a government anti-smut campaign. Although these puns and codes have gained traction on the web in the past few years, using them to speak on political hot topics is an established tradition: during Deng Xiaoping's time in politics, citizens used small bottles or "xiao pingzi" to symbolize support or opposition.