11/5/13: Author talk at Google ■ 8/20/13: Interview on Brian Lehrer Show + introduction to book ■ 6/24/13: Article in Tea Leaf Nation/TheAtlantic.com about how the removal of keyword blocks is not a victory against censorship ■ 6/19/12: Listed in 2012 Danwei Model Worker Award round-up ■ 4/4/12: Asia Pacific Forum radio show with Rebecca MacKinnon and interview in The Next Web ■ 3/12/12: Article explaining my project in more detail: How China Gets the Internet to Censor Itself ■ See personal webpage for more media and writing ■ Words posted may no longer be blocked (they were blocked at the time of their posting or as noted in post). If you find any errors, contact me and I'd be happy to correct.
彭丽媛 (Peng Liyuan) is a Chinese singer well-known for her patriotic and rural folk songs during appearances on the annual CCTV New Year’s Gala. She is married to the current vice-president Xi Jinping, who is widely expected to take over as president later this year.
Why it is blocked: Though Xi, like most high-level CCP officials, earns a block on Weibo, Peng is likely the only unsullied wife of one to receive that honor as well* (Hu Jintao’s and Wen Jiabao’s wives are uncensored, though Wen’s son is blocked because of corruption allegations). This is probably due to the combination of her status as the incoming first lady along with her already high profile as a glamorous celebrity. Like the model heroes in modern Chinese history, she is a member of the Army (serving as a civilian with the rank of major general) who had to sacrifice for her country—albeit in the form of lost commercial endorsement opportunities and the like. [Status - 11/25/11, 2/5/12, 3/12/12: blocked]
*Update: Zhou Enlai’s wife, Deng Yingchao (邓颖超), through no “fault” of her own, is also blocked.