Net Alert report examines censorship on Chinese live-streaming apps

New report reveals keyword blacklists employed on popular social media
Wed, 2016-11-02 20:37

A new Net Alert report published by Citizen Lab analyzes censorship employed on three popular Chinese live-streaming video applications.

Through reverse-engineering, researchers (including former Information Controls fellows Jason Q. Ng and Jeffrey Knockel) were able to discover that keyword blacklists are used to identify banned content being shared and circulated on three popular video streaming platforms: YY, 9158, and Sina Show.

Among the findings: 19,464 unique censorship-triggering keywords were discovered during the study, conducted between February 2015 and October 2016. Net Alert has published that data on GitHub here.

Read now: “Harmonized Histories? A year of fragmented censorship across Chinese live streaming applications”

Media coverage: BloombergCBCWall Street Journal


Net Alert is a collaborative effort bringing together researchers to investigate and publish studies focusing on analyzing widely adopted tools amongst at-risk populations. Special emphasis is being placed on making these findings available to and understood by mainstream audiences, so visualizations and other non-text-based media such as infographics are a key component of Net Alert’s outcomes.

Previous Net Alert reports:
UC Browser Leaks Personal Data
UC Browser Updates Are Compromised

Projects Mentioned