Gallery: Blocked on Weibo

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Hoobastank is an American rock band popular during the first de­cade of the twenty-first century. An informal poll conducted by the Seattle newspaper The Stranger found the band’s name to be one of the worst of all time.

Why it is blocked: Unfortunately, as amusing as the thought might be, it’s not because Weibo censors have declared the band’s style of modern rock music to be unlistenably bad; rather, the blocked keyword is “stank,” and Hoobastank is merely caught inadvertently (see Scunthorpe problem in Canadian French). One might rightfully think the trigger would be the word “tank,” the Chinese version of the word (坦克) having been blocked, but “tank” was tested at the same time as “Hoobastank” and “tank” was unblocked. Thus, “stank” is definitely the blocked word, per­haps because of its connotations of licentiousness, since neither “stink” nor “stunk” is blocked. Or, perhaps even more likely, some­one screwed up.
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