Harmonized Histories?

  • We reverse engineer three popular live streaming platforms (YY, Sina Show, and 9158) and find keyword lists used to censor chat messages.
  • Tracking changes to the keyword lists over the past year gives an inside look into how these applications implement censorship
  • Censorship is reactive often in response to current events.
  • The keyword lists between companies are not identical suggesting that there is no centralized list provided to them by authorities.
  • Censored keywords include references to collective action and government criticism serving as a counterpoint to recent studies.
  • Censored keywords include names of competitors, which appears to be motivated by business interests rather than government pressures.

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