Baidu 10 Mythical Creatures

grass mud horse

The Baidu 10 Mythical Creatures was initially a humorous hoax from the interactive encyclopedia ‘Baidu Baike’ which became a popular and widespread Internet meme in China in early 2009. These hoaxes, ten in number, originated in response to increasingly pervasive and draconian online censorship in China, and have become an icon of citizens’ resistance to censorship. The meme initially began as a series of vandalized contributions to ‘Baidu Baike,’ through the creation of humorous articles describing a series of fictional creatures, each with names vaguely referring to Chinese profanities (utilizing homophones and characters using different tones). Eventually, images, videos (such as faux-documentaries) and even a song regarding aspects of the meme were released.

It was thought that the Baidu hoaxes were written in response to recent strict enforcements of keyword filters in China, introduced in 2009, which attempted to eliminate all forms of profanity. The ‘Baidu Baike’ ‘articles’ initially began with ‘Four Mythical Creatures’ (‘Grass Mud Horse,’ ‘French-Croatian Squid,’ ‘Small Elegant Butterfly,’ and ‘Chrysanthemum Silkworms’), and were later extended to ten. The memes became widely discussed on Chinese Internet forums, and most netizens concluded that the initial aim of the hoaxes were to satirize and ridicule the pointlessness of the new keyword filters. The meme is interpreted by most Chinese online as a form of direct protest rather than motiveless intentional disruption to ‘Baidu’ services. After the hoaxes were posted, news of the articles spread quickly online on joke websites, popular web portals and forums.

Tags:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.