Internet

University BBS Explodes With Snark

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The news about the clampdown on university BBSes, first mentioned on Danwei over the weekend, has made it to the Washington Post, which is running an article today that gives a good overview of what's been happening. The announcement of the block angered students across the country, and inspired pessimism along the lines of the image at left, which reads "Shui-Mu Qinghua BBS: 1995-2005", or of this ASCII (text) art image from the Telnet interface to the Qinghua BBS: an ASCII rendition of the west gate of QInghua University, replete with lanterns appropriate to a funeral, and a question between the arches: "Qinghua University -- Who's Welcome Here Anymore?"

Other, cheekier students on the BBS in question - "Shui-Mu Qinghua," abbreviated, in accordance with the heretical non-Pinyin romanization of the university's name as 'Tsinghua,' as "SMTH" - have taken to using Chairman Mao quotations to title their posts. Some of the quotes are topical: one angry student put up a post, with the title "Chairman Mao Said it Himself!," reminding other students of the well-known phrase "It is right to rebel." Other posts' title-content relationships are less clear; one post entitled "Serve the People With All Your Heart and Soul" is nothing more than a question about dry-cleaning.

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More and more BBS contributors have joined in the fun, although not all of them are equally equipped: a good number of the posts are requests for websites containing the good Chairman's quotations, and one post, entitled "Guys, your books are out of date," asks "Who even has a copy of the Quotations anymore?" Other contributors, upon having their posts deleted by BBS administrators, grumble about "those darn reactionary sysadmins." Contributors still seem to be having fun - as can be seen at right in another ASCII-art login screen from SMTH. It depicts Chinese NBA superstar Yao Ming against a Chinese flag, and the reminder to readers that "You Can Block IP[s], BUT Can't Block the Love of the Game."


Further links:

'RIP Shui-Mu Qinghua BBS' - the original post.

SMTH (Shui-Mu Tsinghua)-related blog posts on Technorati.

An Open Letter to All SMTH Users (Chinese) - the original letter from SMTH system administrators to BBS users about the upcoming policy changes.

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