Visualizing Weibo Censored Words of 2013

This is a data visualization project aims to shed light on the words censored by Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent in 2013. It is a well-known fact that the China government censors its Internet content, including the postings and messages on Weibo, the most popular micro-blogging platform in the country. This project attempts to provide a more comprehensive insight of China’s Internet censorship trend including what, when and why certain words on Weibo are banned by the authority.

It was jointly produced with another NYU Studio 20 grad student John Zongmin Chow as one of our class projects. As we had yet to learn coding then, we used free front-end dataviz tools i.e. Tableau Public,  TimelineJS and InfoActive to produce the dataviz. We built a website using Wix to host all our dataviz and share our methodology and findings. It was a great learning process and this project had led me into the exciting world of data journalism. In the next semester, both of us took a class in data journalism.

After sharing our project in NICAR listserv, Foreign Policy approached us hoping to publish the project on its website. However the plan fell through eventually as Foreign Policy has problem dealing with external code.

We plan to update the data for 2014 and, yes, we are still looking for organization to publish this project.

View the project website here.