Weekly reading 21: freedom of speech

Sep 12, 2020

2020 is a weird year. Due to various reasons, people are dividing more than ever at different levels. People show more hate and become more defensive against groups they don’t like or understand. So I think it’s fitting to have 2 posts, old and new, under the theme of (no) freedom of speech.

前新浪微博内容审核员专访:中共如何打造网络“真理部” - voachinese:


最讽刺的事莫过于要审查涉及六四的内容,所有审核员反而因此看到被掩盖的六四事件,可以当做逆向工程的经典案例了。Basically content moderators of Chinese internet companies get to learn all the stories and rumors about events like 6/4/1989 so that they will know what kind of posts they need to ban and remove. Very classic reverse engineering there. It’s easy to see them go either PTSD or grow hatred against CCP if they don’t have a bulletproof faith in CCP propaganda.


这本工作日志几乎就是中国最黑暗和被掩盖的历史全貌了 - 如果哪天能搞到一本可通今古。The journal of content moderators in Chinese internet companies records everything they can give pass on and ones they need to remove immediately. It is updated everyday. It is basically the hidden side of Chinese history. I’d been interested if it ever been on sale on Ebay.

“That, that, that…”, part 2:

Grammatically, “nèige 那个” begins as a demonstrative, but it is frequently attenuated to become a pause particle or filler word. It is often uttered many times in succession, thus “nèige nèige nèige…”, and people who have a tendency to stutter may get stuck on it for an embarrassingly long time. Even individuals who are not actually stutterers may have an excessive addiction to such words. One can also say “zhèige zhèige zhèige… 这个 这个 这个… (this this this…)”. I’ve even heard people say “zhèige zhèige zhèige… …nèige nèige nèige…” and vice versa.

This is an excerpt from a class where the professor uses “那个“ in Chinese as an example to demonstrate how pauses in communication are like. Apparently because its pronunciation (nèige) is so close to the N word, it “caused great pain and upset among students”. As a result the professor was suspended by the school. If I were a reporter from China, I’d report this like I’ve never reported news before, from different angles, for a straight week, just to show how backwards and ridiculous “western democracy” is. I’d schedule many interviews, with students who feel the great pain, with school administration who believes they are doing the right thing, and probably with the professor who apologizes publicly during the interview.

And apparently Yao Ming has faced similar situations before.

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