China wants to ban ‘your mum’ jokes from the internet

The nation’s officials are not impressed by vulgar language

The Chinese love jokes about your mum: on Weibo, a wildly popular social media platform akin to Twitter, the phrase 'Your mum' was the most popular offensive word or phrase last year. Sadly, they may soon no longer be able to use the diss beloved of teens everywhere and Janis in Mean Girls.

The country's state officials don't like having this kind of lewd and vulgar language on the web. The Cyberspace Administration of China is looking to purge 25 words from the internet, from the Chinese word for 'fuck' to 'your mum' jokes. 

This wouldn't be the first time the Chinese authorities have stepped in to boss people about on the internet, either. Twitter, Facebook, Google, YouTube and Instagram are among the 2,700 or so websites banned in mainland China, with sites like Weibo only allowed because they're monitored by the state (which would never happen in the UK, obvs).

Needless to say, this is all pretty dismal. Limiting language in this way gives the population fewer and fewer ways to express dissent. Officials will be filtering out offensive words, and will be able to immediately delete posts using bad language.

'Your mum' is a bit of a weird phrase to ban, though. Hundreds of thousands of people must be using it every day if it's the most popular cuss on Weibo, so will officials have to sift through every single use of the term? Or will people simply be too intimidated to make disparaging references to other people's mums online?