Chinese Video Sharing Platform Bilibili Rectifies Stigmatizing Words

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Shanghai-based video platform Bilibili announced on Monday night that in order to maintain a healthy online community environment, the website will focus on some recently used online words that stigmatize occupations and abbreviate or distort semantics to engage in personal attacks.

Bilibili will deal with a number of words – including “paratrooper” (whose Chinese pinyin abbreviation is the same as a certain impolite word, and with a similar pronunciation) and “orphan” – prohibiting them from appearing in comments or video content, according to the website’s new community rules. Accounts that repeatedly violate these rules and cause serious consequences will be banned.

Some Chinese state-owned channels recently reported that “paratroopers” are elite occupations in the army, referring to soldiers put into ground operations by parachute or aircraft landing, and cannot be stigmatized. According to the article, the word “paratroopers” has become a discreet homophone used by some people to roast and swear on the Internet. The outlet contended that paratroopers are the elite of the army, and that this glorious occupation deserves respect.

Previously, in order to maintain a healthy network environment, all major online social media platforms in China have undertaken various audit measures, designating a series of “sensitive words” that risk having a negative influence on young people. Despite these efforts, some netizens have found sly ways to express their inner anger and dissatisfaction by employing various abbreviations and homophones to skirt the regulations.

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The state-owned media outlet said in the report that to solve the problem from the root cause, it is necessary for the platforms to come up with more flexible audit measures for sensitive words. According to this strategy, state-run media outlets should report cases timely and accurately while netizens should also strengthen their ability to distinguish right from wrong.