Green Dam Girl
Net Nanny Follies

Green Dam Girl

Green Dam, the Nanny filter software that all PC manufacturers in China are required, by July 1, to install on all PCs they sell, has been widely criticized and mocked in the Chinese and foreign media and on the Internet.

The latest onslaught on a government policy that everyone from nationalist Chinese netizens to foreign journalists derides as absurd is a series of images featuring
Green Dam Girl (绿坝娘).

Green Dam Girl removes underwear from Windows XP Girl

Chinese blogger Hecaitou has compiled a selection of the images, linked earlier on Danwei in a post titled Oddities in the Green Dam filtered words list.

According to Hecaitou, the images show the creativity of the post 80s generation (i.e. those born after 1980). The Green Dam Girl character carries a rabbit (the Green Dam software's mascot), wears a River Crab badge (a pun about 'harmonious society that Chinese netizens use to mock Internet censorship), and holds a bucket of paint (or soy sauce) to wipe out online filth.

Green Dam Girl: That unhealthy information is so gross; I'm a girl worth 40 million
Grass Mud Horse: I'm just an alpaca

Links and Sources
There are currently 21 Comments for Green Dam Girl.

Comments on Green Dam Girl

Haha. Greed Dam Chick's got some serious fetishes but obviously she's found some outlets.

BTW, I like the 4chanish direction, What a way to attract the emo crowds. Danwei: Way to promote a harmonious society like that, bringing together the regular danwei China-study-journalist-weirdos with the freaks-of-society. Green Dam is doing it's job.

Well shits, I'd want the green dam girl to "screen" me. ;-)

痛搞 XP girl 放声叫:
(绿) “俺要,俺要,俺就要!!”

(横批)- 谁让你闹?

Are PC sellers required to pre-install Green Dam, or to just ship the software, on a CD, with computers? I thought the latter to be true.

Iain: All mainland PC sellers have to pre-install the software after July 1. CDs are for second-time installations and similar.


I am sorry, but such a stupid software will be preinstal before we get our product

And no surprise to learn it was stolen software in the first place: link

The CCP backs down! link

Given the high level of technical competence and intensity of the opposition it's likely the authorities will be hoisted with their own petard.

Um, your "required to install" statement is incorrect. PC makers are asked to bundle Green Dam on PC, and end users are under no obligation to install or run it.

Please see page 2 paragraph 2 of the 5/19 MIIB announcement on Rconversation, and this subsquent interview stating to the effect:

Appearantly there is difference between “preinstall/bundle/预装”and “install/安装” in Chinese, and “preinstall” is not in the sense bundling.

“按照预装绿色过滤软件通知的要求,这款软件预装在电脑的硬盘或者随机的光盘中,要发挥作用还需按照安装程序进行激活” - according to the requirements in green filter software notification, the [setup] software is bundled on computer hard drive or CD, to activate it still require following the setup program.

There, Green Dam setup has to be avalable on hard drive or CD, not the filter application itself. And end users are not required to install it or run it.

Charles Liu, the interview you cite is not with anyone from MIIT, which is ultimately responsible for the memo it issued.

There are competing interpretations of that particular paragraph in the Chinese media, and to this point an MIIT official has only seen fit to make a clarification (a) anonymously, and (b) to the official English-language media.

The line in question reads
2. The Green Dam-Youth Escort software should be pre-installed on the computer's hard drive or on disc, and a back-up copy must be kept on a recovery partition and recovery disk.

How to pre-install onto a disc may be part of the source of the confusion. It could be bundled only, or it could be installed and operating, but it's far from as clear-cut as you make it seem, and for whatever reason, MIIT has chosen not to clarify the situation.

That translation from CDT is incorrect:

1) Page 2 para 2) the 18th word "或/or" was translted as "and", changing it's meaning 180 degrees.

2) As you've noticed, para 2) makes no sense (how do you preinstall on CD?) Now read "bundle" then it makes perfect sense. Reasonable read also shows the recovery partition applies to hard drive scenario only.

In addition to the interview I cited, there were other official statement to the effect.

Joel, if you want more citations from the government, there are plenty: link

"绿坝花季护航软件非强制安装可随意卸载" - Green Dam Youth Chaperon not madate install, can be removed at will"

So, here's how I would translate page 2 para 2) of the announcement:


2, "Green Dam-Youth Chaperon" software should bundle on computer hard drive or in accompanying CD, as well as backs on recovery partition and recovery disk.

At no point was there any madate for end user to install or run this software. Even if parents choose to run Green Dam, they can turnn it off for themselves.

I think that's a fair re-interpretation of that line, Charles Liu. My issue is not with the interpretation itself — perhaps the MIIT did initially intend to mandate bundling only. Instead, it's with the suggestion that interpreting the memo to mean that actual installation is mandatory is somehow the result of "anti-sinoism."

An article you cited as evidence elsewhere suggests, "because the MIIT memo used the word "pre-install" (预装), in line with the usual interpretation of the word, the media generally believed that installing the software onto computers was compulsory."

Perhaps the usual interpretation is incorrect; MIIT has not made that clear yet. Until that happens, it's ridiculous to suggest that the people reading it that way are motivated by anti-China or anti-government sentiment.


Joel, did you see this MIIT offical quote I cited elsewhere? link

据新华社电 昨日,工信部有关负责人说...

According to Xinhua wire yesterday [6/10], relevant leader in MIIT said...


also allowing users to freely choose installation or not, at the same time user's online activity will not be monitoryed, with no user data collected.

The “end user can freely choose to install or not” quote from MIIB offical shows they are asking for the install to be bundled.

The Xinhua report is here. Good find, a statement to the Chinese media. However, particularly since the Duanwu fuel price debacle, people are understandably wary of reassurances by unnamed ministry "responsible persons."

Also note that the very next day, a China News report (from the other big state-owned news agency) answered the question of whether Green Dam was compulsory with three pieces of evidence: (1) the unnamed MIIT source saying "users can choose whether or not to install it," (2) a People's Daily article saying that installing the software was not compulsory, and (3) the software company GM saying that users "can uninstall it if they choose."

I'm not arguing against your interpretation here (I've used the term "pre-load" when writing about the issue myself, precisely because of the ambiguity), and certainly there's nothing stopping people from wiping the software from their own machines after purchase. I just believe that the vagueness of the terminology and the apparently contradictory remarks from the parties involved mean that the conclusion that Green Dam comes installed and running is an entirely reasonable one to make.


The software is similar to McAFee Parental Control though it has more features such as on-line game time limits and on-line chat limits. In the setting screen, the user can turn image filtering and semanic analysis features off. It's password-protected and 100% under the user's control. The user has a choice for voluntary censorship for kids.

Personally, I think the whole 'Green Dam' software thing is load of...well, you get it. I think that the Chinese should lower the Golden Shield, as well as this Green Dam crud.

And freepers, I'd also want to do the 'screening' in that case. ;)

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives