China banned all mentions of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Chinese social media platform Weibo after he recently made a surprise visit to China, his first visit as a state head since he succeeded his father in late 2011.
Pyongyang had previously requested China censor all mentions of Kim on Weibo in order to prevent Chinese citizens mocking the North Korean leader on social media as they speculated his weight gain.
The terms temporarily banned in 2016 included “Kim the Fat,” “Fatty Fatty” and “Kim Fat III.”
This time around as China prepped to keep Kim’s visit under wraps, they banned all mentions of Kim and North Korea from the internet and social media platforms.
People, naturally, had to get a bit more creative to get around the ban. The Chinese citizens, instead, called him “fatty on the train.” Other nicknames picked by the users were “the obese patient” and other diplomatic choices like “the sibling next door” and “the visitor from the Northeast.”
On Tuesday, four of the top 10 blocked terms on Weibo were “Kim Jong Un,” “Fatty the Third,” “North Korea,” and “Fatty Kim the Third,” according to FreeWeibo, a site that tracks censorship on the social media platform.
Twitter users were thoroughly amused with the people's ability to get around the ban.
"Throw the Fatty from the Train" is one of my favorite movies.— Just R?B. (@CykoDad408) March 27, 2018
People are always find a way around censorship... China's ability to meme says it all ??— Lila ? (@iqramcilveen) March 28, 2018
Classic Streisand Effect:— Adithya Venkatesan (@adadithya) March 28, 2018
Apparently China banned all mentions of Kim Jon Un on social media when he made a visit. So.... Citizens started referring to him as "fatty on the train" 😂😂😂
Since the visit has ended, the ban on these terms has been lifted by the Chinese government.
China is notorious for keeping a strict check on its social media websites and curbing free speech when and how it pleases.
Previously, China had also banned any mentions about President Xi Jinping as he gunned to end the limit on his serving term. The term “Winnie the Pooh” was also banned from all social media platforms and internet after it was used as a nickname for Xi.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters/ KCNA