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This change means there is no feedback to users that censorship has occured making the restrictions on We Chat less transparent.

Censored keywords spanned a range of content, including current events, politics, and social issues.

In addition to keyword censorship, We Chat implements a URL filtering system in its built-in browser, which uses different lists of blacklisted and whitelisted websites for China and International accounts.

To sample which URLs We Chat censors, we used a script to automatically test the Alexa Top One Million list of websites using both China and International accounts.

We found a greater number of keywords blocked on group chat compared to one-to-one chat, which suggests that communications on group chat are specifically targeted, potentially because group chats can reach a larger number of users.