We present over a year and a half china chats data from tracking the censorship and surveillance keyword lists of two instant messaging programs used in China. Through reverse engineering of TOM-Skype and Sina UCwe were able to obtain the URLs and encryption keys for various versions of these two programs and have been downloading the keyword blacklists every day. Visualizations of this data and how changes in the lists correlate with contextual information such as current events are presented here.

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When the invite-only app Clubhouse was china chats last April, it was envisaged as the online equivalent of Soho House: an exclusive space where the well-connected could gather. But for a few days, it became something else: a tiny gap in Beijing's "great firewall", allowing millions in China a glimpse of an unfiltered, uncensored internet.

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A place where people could openly discuss issues like the treatment of the Uighur minority, the crackdown in Hong Kong, and relations with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province. It was short-lived: on Monday, the app some described as the Chinese version of the "Enlightenment Salon", went offline in mainland China - but not before the BBC listened in on a series china chats conversations which, just a week ago, would have been unimaginable. When thousands of Mandarin speakers from mainland China china chats Taiwan ed a Clubhouse chatroom called "Everyone asks Everyone" last weekend, astute observers immediately sensed something unusual.

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The conversation was no-holds-barred, ranging from the pros and cons of democracy in the Chinese-speaking world, and the possibility of unification of Taiwan with China, to occasional heart-warming personal stories. But why do we have to argue who this China belongs to?

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china chats We should live peaceably with each other. It is rare, because, amidst propaganda and tensions from both China and Taiwan in recent years, such sustained freewheeling discussions on a single digital platform are all but impossible usually. Political content is normally filtered by China's sophisticated "great firewall" censorship system, with those daring to speak out on platforms like the micro-blogging site Weibo and messaging platform WeChat risking getting in trouble with authorities.

But there were no censors on Clubhouse, and speakers' confidence was apparently further buoyed by the fact the audio of users' chats in the app is not recorded, allowing some measure of privacy. Why don't we try to understand each other a bit more; sympathise china chats each other and offer support when needed? The conversation was not all political, though.

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At times, people from both sides of the Taiwan Strait shared fond memories visiting each other's cities, while one mainlander pointed out that his favourite song from a Chinese indie rock band is in fact called About Taipei. This was exactly the kind of conversation the group initiator Yaya Tsao was looking for on Friday. After hours of moderating on Friday, she passed the responsibility on to a young mainland China chats woman who calls herself GG. The discussions which were watched closest, however, were those on Xinjiang, the region where China is accused of locking up a million of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in internment camps.

Beijing insists they are "vocational schools" which china chats "terrorism and religious extremism", and has accused the West of spreading lies and propaganda. On Saturday, a chatroom named "Is there a concentration camp in Xinjiang?

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The Xinjiang chatroom's founding moderator Francis - not his real name - told the BBC the room title was chosen not to cast doubt on whether the camps truly exist, but to attract listeners with different views about China's Xinjiang policy. This may be the biggest achievement of the chatroom," said the year-old China chats Angeles-based filmmaker, who is ethnically Han Chinese. One Han Chinese man said he had to stop driving as he was crying so much while listening to the discussion.

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One Han Chinese woman defended China's Xinjiang policy by saying the US and Europe also took extreme anti-terrorism measures, asking: "Isn't education a good response? She noted some European countries have demanded immigrants china chats their languages to assimilate. She was quickly reminded that Uighurs are not immigrants, but native to the Xinjiang region.

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Some china chats her behaviour as "Hansplaining", which is when a Han person explains China's Xinjiang policy to Uighurs and other ethnic minorities in a condescending manner. The year-old called on her fellow Han Chinese to educate themselves on what's happening in Xinjiang, rather than blame the victims. Of course, Clubhouse's invite-only model, which saw some pay china chats access, as well as the fact it is only available on iPhones and iP, means those who took part were likely overwhelmingly well-educated, affluent and urbanised Chinese elites.

Many pointed out that this setting may exacerbate the social media echo chamber, with popular Chinese blogger Ren Yi, who goes by the pen name Chairman Rabbit, noting that most mainland Chinese would never use Clubhouse. But any chance for people on the mainland to sway the discussion has now gone.


The app is offline - whether permanently, no one knows. Yet Alex hopes the light she saw "shining through a crack" - however briefly - will be the first of many.

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What's behind the China-Taiwan divide? The Taiwan-sized problem for the next US president.

Chinese messaging app landscape

A decision that changed my family's story. Uighur camp detainees allege systematic rape.

Pressure and propaganda - the reality of reporting Xinjiang. Clubhouse discussion app knocked offline in China.

China chats

The Taiwan-sized problem for the next US president A decision that changed my family's story. But there was also pushback, and trolls interrupted multiple times.

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Related Topics. China Taiwan Xinjiang Uyghurs. More on this story.

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Published 14 April. Published 28 October Published 30 December Published 2 February.

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Published 15 January. Published 8 February.

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