Japanese art platform hits back at Chinese pirates with banned political keywords

rfa.org -- Sep 26

A Japanese art and manga website that was cloned by Chinese pirates has hit back by encoding forbidden keywords and hashtags banned by Chinese censors into its code, prompting the authorities to shut the pirated version down.

Pixiv, which describes itself as "an online community for artists," is headquartered in Tokyo, and offers a showcase for artists' works, as well as a rating system with feedback and user comments.

It has been phenomenally successful, garnering more than 3.7 billion page views a month.

Then, the entire site was cloned by Chinese pirates, who copied the site's content almost verbatim, translating tags and titles into simplified Chinese, and offering the pirated site vpixiv to users in mainland China.

Pixiv fought back, however, with some of the site's users adding "sensitive" keywords to their artworks, including "Tiananmen massacre," which alerted the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s massive, government-backed censorship system.

Other sensitive and forbidden keywords included "Free Hong Kong," "Independence for Taiwan," and "June 4, Tiananmen Square," all of which are heavily censored terms behind China's Great Firewall. ...continue reading