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Weibo releases list of 'profane usernames' to be banned

Social media platform gives users one week to harmonize their names

Graphic showing restriction on word 'Niangpao,' or 'sissy boy.' (Facebook, Cozydating image)

Graphic showing restriction on word 'Niangpao,' or 'sissy boy.' (Facebook, Cozydating image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Weibo administrators announced on Wednesday (Dec. 1) that accounts whose usernames use offensive language will be suspended.

Users of China’s largest social media platform have just one week to clean up their names, the deadline being Dec. 8, according to a WhatsonWeibo report.

Some of the vulgar terms that will be outlawed include the following:

“Beisan” (癟三) — a slang term whose English equivalent could be “bum,” “hobo,” or “broke low-life.”

“Èrhuò” (二貨) Èrhuò — with the number two denoting second-rate intelligence, this broadly means an idiot or fool.

“Niángpào” (娘炮) — a derogatory term for effeminate men that could be translated as “sissy” or “girly boy.”

The new rules are an effort to align with 2021's so-called Clean and Bright Campaign (清朗行動) to “clean up” China’s cyberspace and eradicate what authorities consider harmful content.

Already, the news has generated a lot of buzz on Weibo, with one hashtag (#微博暱稱不得含娘炮等詞彙#) receiving over 110 million views on Wednesday.

Judging by comments, some users are confused:

“I never knew ‘Niángpào’ was considered a vulgar word,” one wrote.

One user called Farting Picture ventured to ask if scatological terms were acceptable, “Is ‘fart’ still okay though?”

Many commenters showed support for the new move though, saying the platform ought to do its bit to keep China’s internet “civilized.”