Automatic deletion of "communist bandit" by YouTube

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Watch a commenter enter "gòngfěi 共匪" ("communist bandits") in the blue selection panel, post it, and then see it disappear within 15 seconds.

When I lived in Taiwan from 1970-72, it was common for people there to refer to the Chinese Communist Party as "gòngfěi 共匪" ("communist bandits").  It seems that the epithet later fell into relative disuse, but lately it appears to be making a comeback under China's increasing threats to conquer the island nation with military force and especially due to the PRC's obstreperous, obstructive behavior vis-à-vis Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic, for which see "The opacity of a bilingual, biscriptal Taiwanese headline" (5/15/20) and many other Language Log posts (some listed under "Selected Readings" below).


Selected readings


  1. Victor Mair said,

    May 16, 2020 @ 9:52 am

    “Wuhan Pneumonia” and Academic Freedom in Taiwan

    On April 10, a student from mainland China, who was attending the Chung Yuan Christian University in Taiwan, wrote to the university authorities to protest that his professor mentioned the “Wuhan pneumonia caused by the covid-19 virus” in class. He pressed the charge of discrimination. Ming-Wei Chao, the associate professor from the Department of Bioscience Technology, apologized in class and said, “As a professor of the Republic of China, I will not discriminate against the students.” The university, four days later, asked professor Chao to issue another apology for the using the wording “the Republic of China.”

    The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan’s cabinet-level agency handling the cross-strait relations, stepped in and launched an investigation. MAC emphasized that institutions of higher education can allow neither self-censorship and interference of teachers’ freedom in conducting lectures, nor measures that hurt the dignity of the nation. MAC said it will work with the Ministry of Education to find out the facts and adopt appropriate administrative actions to safeguard academic freedom.

    Source: Central News Agency, May 11, 2020


  2. Victor Mair said,

    May 16, 2020 @ 10:12 am

    There are several videos on Youtube with the term here:

  3. David Marjanović said,

    May 16, 2020 @ 12:36 pm

    So it's censored in comments, but not in the titles of videos?

    Farther down in the thread, somebody named Y @Neverpleased replied:

    This is true. Tested it myself. Youtube is censoring these two characters on their own, in sentences and even in sentences with other languages. I am located outside of China.

    Youtube licks Xi's crack and they like it.

  4. ycx said,

    May 16, 2020 @ 9:27 pm

    I still don't understand why the Taiwanese media still insists on calling it "Wuhan pneumonia", when even the ardently anti-PRC Donald Trump has stopped calling it "Chinese virus".

    After all, the official Taiwanese (ROC) constitution still has irredentist claims on the entirety of its 1920s territory, Wuhan included.

  5. Bruce Rusk said,

    May 16, 2020 @ 10:08 pm

    The Taiwanese media use the terms Wuhan pneumonia/virus because the Taiwanese state does, in its official publications. That name is ubiquitous in Taiwan.

  6. Leo said,

    May 17, 2020 @ 8:01 am

    Google Translate renders 共匪 as "Gangster".

  7. Calvin said,

    May 17, 2020 @ 4:39 pm

    The use of term 共匪 by the Nationalist Party (國民黨) dated back to the early days of their struggle with CCP in the 1920's. They viewed themselves as the sole legitimate (正統) party representing the Republic of China, and illegalize CCP after their split in 1927.

    The term persisted long after the Nationalist lost the civil war and retreated to Taiwan. Since the ROC government lost its UN seat in 1971, it held on to the so called "漢賊不兩立" (loosely translated as "the legitimate one cannot stand/coexist with the bandits", originally from 出師表) principle to never share international stage with PRC. And now the PRC essentially take up the same stance to the extreme.

    Taiwan government and media stopped using the term in the 80s when both governments started rapprochement.

    With the resurrection of this term in Taiwan, it could bring up this inconvenient question: If CCP is illegitimate, then is ROC the legitimate one?

    FWIW, the official ROC boundary still includes mainland China, Mongolia, and most of the South China Sea (nine-dash line).

  8. Victor Mair said,

    May 26, 2020 @ 5:30 pm

    "YouTube is deleting comments with two phrases that insult China’s Communist Party – 共匪 – 五毛"

    The Verge (5/26/20)

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