Blocked On Weibo: A book review

Nearly a week ago I read an article that a book about Weibo’s censorship is coming out. As an employee of Weibo, I’m so curious about this one. Thanks to Amazon, I got the book downloaded within less than a minute.

Blocked on Weibo

Have to make it clear that although I work for Weibo, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m responsible for the censorship team. Please read the disclaimer at the end of this blog post.

The book is super easy to read. I, a non-English speaker, finished it in two days. All keywords come with a very short definition and a longer description to explain the reason why it’s blocked on Weibo.

The title, however, is a little misleading. I think it should be Blocked on Weibo’s Search. As the author mentioned in the introduction, the keywords were tested through searching on But Weibo is different from a searching engine. In my personal opinion, a blocked search query is also different from a blocked keyword. In this case, I could write a similar book titled Blocked on Baidu. Since Weibo is the hottest topic at this time, Jason’s book should be a best seller. Mine? No body would care 🙂

The book covers 153 keywords in eight categories. To me, it’s more like a contemporary history book. Each keyword has a story. The author describe them in a concise and direct way. Most of them are quite enjoyable. If you found any interesting topic, Wikipedia has more details.

To anyone else, I think this book provides a brand new perspective to understand modern China.

At last, I have to point out my personal view on the keyword “sky burial”. The reason to block this term might not because of religious context. I know that Mr Wang Lixiong has a book with the same title “sky burial”. The book was published in Taiwan, banned in China.

You can purchase Blocked on Weibo at for USD8.77 (as of Sept 9, 2013).

I am currently an employee of Weibo. I receive a salary from them. The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Weibo’s positions, strategies or opinions.

One Reply to “Blocked On Weibo: A book review”

  1. hey 龚民
    really good article! I understand your position….its so easy for westerner’s to blame Sina weibo – but as you say, it could also be Blocked by Baidu

    BUT – search and social are very different….. search is …. so yesterday, we love social – and that is how people really connect – so this “blocking” is most highlighted and noticed in today’s social media world.

    great article!

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