Monitoring site What’s On Weibo noticed that users on Chinese social media and messaging app WeChat have been live-streaming Coachella illegally, with censors trying to catch moments or performances that transgressed China’s increasingly moralistic censorship rules. Alas, Megan Thee Stallion’s performance of her hit song “WAP” proved the undoing of one poor WeChat censor charged with applying the black bar on videos.
Struggling to keep up with the dancers, the censor was in the unenviable position of trying to choose what to censor and failing to censor anything, with the black bar whizzing left and right, all over the video. Compounding the censor’s nightmare were the lyrics to “WAP” which WeChat users took glee in typing out and translating in the comments. Users also used the comments to push back against the censors, saying that they should stop treating them like children.
Some wags also adapted the lyrics to “Wet Ass Puxi,” referencing the district of Shanghai that is currently suffering under a draconian lockdown due to an Omicron surge in the city.
Western events like Coachella are not broadcast in China through legal means, but resourceful social media users circumvent the countrywide firewall with VPNs to illegally stream big events.
Coachella is also being livestreamed via WeChat. Apparently, this performance not only made censors sweat, everyone was also joking that they’re singing a song about Shanghai Puxi District. #MeganTheeStallion #Shanghailockdown pic.twitter.com/2ltSqzFC9c
— Manya Koetse (@manyapan) April 17, 2022