The No. 1 word China wants to remove from the internet these days is 'your mum'

WeiboAndy WongA page from Chinese actor Wen Zhang’s Sina Weibo account showing an apology statement to his wife and children.

Last time we checked on Chinese social media sensors, they were inexplicably banning words like “meow” and “Hoobastank” from the popular social media site Sina Weibo.

Now, the censors are coming for profanity and sexual innuendo.

On Tuesday, the Cyberspace Administration of China unveiled a new set of regulations that will scrub social media of the 25 most popular dirty words in China, according to Bloomberg.

“We should clear the smog of coarse language,” CAC spokesman Jiang Jun said, according to Bloomberg. “And the internet companies should take the responsibility to do so.”

The announcement comes after Chinese news site People’s Daily published a list of the most widely used insults, innuendos, and dirty words.

Here’s a roughly translated list of a few of the newly banned words:

  • “Your mum”
  • “green tea b**tch”
  • “green eggs”
  • “f***”
  • “howling monster”

As Quartz and the TV personality Wilmer Valderrama point out, “your mum” doesn’t stand up much as an insult on its own. The newly banned phrase — which, according to the list, was used almost 250 million times on Weibo last year — carries a bit more weight. The phrase implies a sexual act with “your mum.”

The list contains other euphemisms.”Green eggs” refers to the colour of men’s testicles.

China’s government has a history of striking words that it doesn’t like from social media sites. As Jason Q. Ng writes in his book “Banned in Weibo,” the government has taken steps to flag posts with political euphemisms and references that cast a negative light on the state.

The current ban is part of a larger push by the government to clean social media in order to save the youth from the poisonous, corrupting influence of social media slang and internet predators. As People’s Daily points out, China is focusing on educating teens about cybersecurity awareness to help protect citizens from hackers.

It’s unclear whether the censoring will do much to clean up the Chinese web. But if we know anything about teens, it’s that they can always come up with new ways to talk about sex and insult each other.

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