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PTT BBS (批踢踢實業坊, Pītītī Shíyè Fāng),1) or PTT (批踢踢, Pītītī), is a popular Chinese2) terminal-based bulletin board, founded by NTU students on September 14, 1995, that is managed by the “Electronic BBS Research Society” (電子佈告欄系統研究社) to this date.

It boasts a total of 1.5 million registered users with 150,000 active users during peak hours and has 20,000+ boards with 20,000 threads and 500,000 comments being made daily. There are also sister sites under the names: PTT2 (批踢踢兔) and PTT3 (批踢踢參).


On September 14, 1995, an NTU sophomore student Yi-Chin(Ethan) Tu3) established PTT on his personal i486 computer, running Linux and open-source software. It isn't clear why “PTT” was chosen as the name. Some theorize that it has to do with his original ID of “Panda Tu”4) with an extra “T” attached for memorability, or the website was allegedly called the “Professional Technology Temple” at some point.

By 1999, the “Electronic BBS Research Society” was formed to cooperate with other existing bulletin boards, then “PTT2” was set up in 2000 and “PTT3” was set up in 2004 for students who were studying abroad. By 2003, NTU formally decided to cut ties with PTT, since it was the students' creation, so they agreed to revoke the domain that they had on the network to avoid confusion.


Board classifications

For the web-based version, a list of the most popular boards (熱門看板) at the time are shown by default while the board classifications (分類看板) are stashed in another tab. There are countless boards and subcategories, so I won't be able to list every single board and subcategory that exists. Instead, I'll provide a translation of the main classifications and let you figure the rest out from there.

Group Name Purpose
A_Group 1 市民廣場
Residential Plaza
Rules and Administration.
B_Group 2 臺灣大學
National Taiwan University
NTU-exclusive subforums.
C_Group 3 政治大學
Political University
D_Group 4 青蘋果樹
Granny Smith Fruit Tree
For other universities.
F_Group 5 活動中心
Activity Center
For club activities.
G_Group 6 視聽劇場
Audiovisual Theater
Idols, music, radio, and television.
H_Group 7 戰略高手
Strategy Expert
Games, data, and programming.
I_Group 8 卡漫夢工廠
Cartoon-Manga Dream Factory
Cartoons, manga, and anime.
J_Group 9 生活娛樂館
Lively Entertainment Hall
Life, life's pleasures, and passions.
K_Group 10 國家研究院
National Academy
Politics, literature, and academic research.
L_Group 11 國家體育場
National Stadium
Sweat, perseverance, and courage.

Board popularity

The “board population” (看板人數, kànbǎn rénshù) or “board popularity” (看板人氣, kànbǎn rénqì) is the number of active users on a board which is indicated by colored text. Occasionally, a “burst” (爆, bào) of activity will occur and such events are called “blue burst” (藍爆, lán bào), “cyan burst” (青藍爆, qīnglán bào), “green burst” (綠爆, lǜ bào), “yellow burst” (黃爆, huáng bào), “purple burst” (紫爆, zǐ bào), etc.

Number of readers Status indicator
0 No indicator.
1-10 ## White numbers.
11-49 ## Yellow numbers.
50-99 ## Red numbers.
100-999 HOT White “HOT”.
1,000-1,999 爆! White “Bào!” (爆!).
2,000-4,999 爆! Red “Bào!” (爆!).
5,000-9,999 爆! Blue “Bào!” (爆!).
10,000-29,999 爆! Cyan “Bào!” (爆!).
30,000-59,999 爆! Green “Bào!” (爆!).
60,000-99,999 爆! Yellow “Bào!” (爆!).
100,000+ 爆! Purple “Bào!” (爆!).

Comments and ratings

The comments are called “tuī wén” (推文, lit. “push words”),5) with “xū wén” (噓文, lit. “hush words”) being the inverse, and there's a 45 character limit since Chinese is a compact language. Some boards utilize a rating system where a character will appear before a user's comment, so “tuī” (推) is a bump or upvote, “xū” (噓) is a downvote, and “→” doesn't mean anything.

Popularity records

Rank Date Board Reason
1 2018-11-25 Gossiping
2018 Taiwanese local elections.
2018 Taipei Mayoral Election stalemate.
2 2014-03-23 Gossiping
Sunflower Student Movement.
Pro-independence protesters occupy the Executive Yuan.
3 2016-01-16 Gossiping
2016 Taiwanese presidential election.
DPP candidate elected while KMT is fractured.
4 2014-11-29 Gossiping
2014 Taiwanese local elections.
DPP gains majority, a vote of no confidence for the KMT.
5 2013-03-08 Baseball
2013 World Baseball Classic.
Preliminary: Chinese Taipei vs. Japan (L 3-4).
6 2013-03-05 Baseball
2013 World Baseball Classic.
Chinese Taipei vs. South Korea (L 2-3).
7 2015-11-15 Baseball
2015 WBSC Premier12.
Chinese Taipei vs. Puerto Rico (L 4-7).
8 2018-02-07 Gossiping
2018 Hualien earthquake.
A severe M6.4 earthquake near Hualien.
9 2020-01-11 Gossiping
2020 Taiwanese presidential election.
DPP incumbent re-elected, KMT fumbles.
10 2020-06-06 Gossiping
2020 Kaohsiung mayoral recall vote.
KMT mayor ousted, speaker commits suicide.
11 2017-03-09 Baseball
2017 World Baseball Classic.
Chinese Taipei vs. South Korea (L 8-11).
12 2015-11-14 Baseball
2015 WBSC Premier12.
Chinese Taipei vs. Cuba (W 4-1).

Political buzzwords

  • Bìngchù (病畜, lit. “sick animal”) - A dated insult for the corrupt KMT government that existed.
    • Qūqū (蛆蛆) / Lán (蛆) - Blue maggot. “Bìngchù” became banned, so this was the next step. It'd also symbolize how the blue camp was normally slow or inactive.
    • Zhīzhī (吱吱) / zhī (吱) - Green [monkey's] squeak. Back in 2006, the Red Shirt protesters climbed a billboard in Kaohsiung to tear it down. Later on, people noticed that the south was a DPP stronghold and home to the Formosan rock macaque. More recently, the DPP government held a banana-eating campaign in 2018. In contrast, it symbolizes the green camp's energy.
  • 26 (Ālù) - Derived from "Ālùzaǐ" (阿陸仔), the local derogatory term for a mainlander.
    • 426 (Sǐālù) - A dead mainlander. The common form since Taiwan is generally anti-communist. It fell out of fashion since they don't want to think of them as mainlanders anymore.
    • Zhīnà (支那) - Shina. A historic name, but considered derogatory after the Japanese invasions.
  • 689, 609 - The respective tallies of the 2012 Taiwanese presidential election. Now outdated.
    • 9.2% (Jiǔdiǎnèr) - The KMT government only had a 9.2% approval rating in a September 2013 poll, so it became a derogatory term for the blue camp's stragglers.
    • 42689.2 - 426 + 689 + 9.2. A term that criticizes the KMT for wanting to cooperate with the PRC,6) compared to the green camp's independence campaign that would sever ties.7)
  • Wǎngjūn (網軍, lit. “net army”) / Wǎnjūn (婉君) - A term suggesting that political factions have actively been utilizing cyberwarfare to manipulate PTT since the 2014 Taiwanese local elections.
    • Wǔmáo (五毛) - Paid CPC (pro-PRC) actors, accusing the party of paying RMB¥0.50 per positive post. In recent years, it's been echoed by useful idiots on Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
    • 1450 / 1450 Wǎngjūn (1450網軍) - Paid DPP actors, reference to the DPP allocating $14.5 million to “editors” in the Council of Agriculture, creating the “cyberwarfare department” conspiracy.
  • Táidú Jíwáwá (台獨吉娃娃) - See “Taiwan Independence Chihuahua”.
  • 7.77, 4.2 - The DPP president had low approval ratings and many speculated that she would not be re-elected in 2020, but did with 8.17 million votes as the blue camp was still split.
  • Zhèngzhì zhāngláng (政治蟑螂, lit. “political cockroach”) - Derogatory term. Context-dependent.


  • The users are called “xiāngmín” (鄉民, lit. “villagers”), a reference to Hail the Judge where Fong Tong-Kan replies “I came with the villagers to see the commotion” (我是跟鄉民進來看熱鬧的).
  • It's been called “the 2channel of Taiwan”,8) but do note that PTT does have an ID registration system.
    • Yes, the PTT Villagers are aware of the Komica Islanders and vice versa.
    • In the west, it's a “hybrid of 4chan and Reddit” as it has a plethora of boards, yet the more popular boards have a high volume of homophobia, racism, sexism, and edgy schoolkid humor.
  • They had a personal wiki service named PTTwiki, running Tavi, but it's probably discontinued by now.
  • A sci-fi movie titled “BBS Xiāngmín de Zhèngyì” (BBS鄉民的正義, lit. “BBS Residents' Justice”), also known as “Silent Code”, was released in 2012 and drew heavy inspiration from PTT. The film was later shown off at the 8th Osaka Asian Film Festival in 2013, though it didn't win any awards.
  • They use ANSI art. It's very colorful, but the art may not render correctly in the Web version.

See also

I keep seeing “Shíyè Fāng” (實業坊) translated as “Bulletin Board System”, but the dictionaries say that it means “Industrial Lane” or “Industrial Community”, so I'm curious about the etymology. It doesn't seem to be a transliteration of “bulletin” as they use “bùgàolán” (佈告欄) instead.
By Chinese, we're referring to the Republic of China or Chinese Taipei.
“Tu Yi-Chin” (杜奕瑾, Dù Yìjǐn) is the Chinese name. “Ethan Tu” is the English name.
“Panda Tu” was a self-deprecatory joke about how he would get “panda eyes” from staying up so late.
Somehow, “tuī wén” (推文) is also the translation for “tweet” in the Chinese interface for Twitter.
At the time, former president Ma Ying-jeou was criticized for being too close to the PRC, which scared centrist voters into siding with the independence camp. However, the following president Tsai Ing-wen would be criticized for being too anti-PRC which led to economic sanctions, so centrist voters returned to the pro-unification camp and hope that would restore their economy.
While the ROC has embraced the Taiwanese identity, they really prefer to maintain the status quo since we know what happened with Timor-Leste in the 1970s. Regardless, the DPP's propaganda has convinced a notable portion of Americans to support their independence, so be careful what you wish for.
ptt.txt · Last modified: 2023-10-09 20:15:51 by namelessrumia