Latest Directives From the Ministry of Truth, February 17-24, 2011 (UPDATED)

The following examples of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions as “Directives from the .” CDT has collected the selections we translate here from a variety of sources and has checked them against official Chinese media reports to confirm their implementation.

Standards for Reporting on the Situation in the Middle East

February 24, 2011

From the Central Propaganda Department: Media reports on the current changing situation in the Middle East must use standard copy sources.  Reports cannot have the word “revolution” (geming).  Regarding the reasons for the emergence of these mass protests, nothing can be reported regarding demands for democracy or increases in commodity prices.  Reports also cannot draw connections between the political systems of Middle Eastern nations and the system in our country.  In all media, when the names of the leaders of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other countries are given, the names of Chinese leaders cannot appear next to them.

中东局势报道规范

中宣部:媒体报道最近中东局势变化,必须规范稿源。报道不得出现“革命”一词。关于出现民众抗议的原因,不可报道关于要求民主或者物价上涨。报道也不可以将中东国家的政治体系和我国的体制联系起来。所有媒体在提及埃及,突尼斯,利比亚等国领导人的名字时,旁边不可出现中国领导人的名字。

A Look Back at the 11th Five-Year Plan; A Look Forward to the 12th

February 23, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: In the upcoming period, regulation and control of online opinion must be strengthened.  All major news websites must resolutely persist in accurate public opinion leadership and strengthen vigorous positive propaganda, giving particular emphasis on the spirit of the CCP’s 17th plenary meeting.  We must strictly control online opinion as it emerges in interactive spaces, as well as negative news and reports in the media.  Continue to strengthen vigorous propagandizing of the topic “A Look Back at the 11th Five-Year Plan; A Look Forward to the 12th.”

十一五回顾;十二五展望

国新办:近期网络舆情需要加强调控。请各大新闻网站务必认真坚持正确舆论导向,加强大力度的正面宣传,特别是党的十七届五中全会精神。对于互动环节表现出来的网络舆情,以及媒体的负面新闻报道要严格控制。继续加大力度宣传“十一五回顾,十二五展望.“专题。

WikiLeaks Leaks and the U.S. National Debt

February 22, 2011

From the State Council Information Office:  All websites are not to report on the following content related to disclosures and leaks found on WikiLeaks: China purchasing U.S. national debt to apply political pressure to the U.S. government.  Information of this sort found on foreign websites must strictly be blocked and deleted.

维基泄密美国国债

国新办:各网站不得报道关于维基泄密披露的如下内容:中国购买美国国债,向美国施加政治压力。对于境外网站的此类信息,必须坚决封堵和删除。

Candidates for Representative at People’s Congress

February 21, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: Please delete all posts related to the item “Candidates for Representative at the People’s Congress Have No Legal Standing” found on any website or interactive space, including micro-blogs, blogs, online forums, breaking news services, and text messages.

参选人大代表

国新办:所有网站及互动环节,包括微博,博客,论坛,即使通讯以及SNS, 请删除所有关于“参选人大代表没有法律依据”有关的贴文等。

A Nice Bunch of Jasmine

January 21, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested to conduct strict searches of interactive spaces such as online forums, blogs, micro-blogs, instant message tools, and text message services.  Immediately delete the phrase “A nice bunch of jasmine” and related information.

好一朵茉莉花

国新办:请所有网站严格检查论坛、博客、微博、即时通讯工具、SNS等互动区域,立即删除“好一朵茉莉花”以及所有有关的信息

Lecture by Cheng Yizhong at Hong Kong University

February 20, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All search engines are requested to immediately screen out Cheng Yizhong’s Hong Kong University lecture, entitled “One Journalist’s Reflections.”  All websites and interactive spaces, including online forums, blogs, micro-blogs, instant message services, and text message services, are to thoroughly search for and immediately delete this text and related information.

程益中港大演讲

国新办:请所有搜索引擎立即屏蔽程益中在香港大学的演讲内容“一个报人的反思”。各网站和互动环节包括论坛,博客,微博,即使通讯和SNS彻底检查并立即删除该文以及相关信息。

Gene research is a new tool in national recognition

February 20, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: Posts related to the item “Gene research is a new tool in national recognition” cannot appear.  All websites are requested to examine online forums, blogs, micro-blogs, instant message services, text messages, and other interactive spaces.

基因研究介入民族识别

国新办:请所有网站检查论坛、博客、微博、即时通讯工具、SNS等互动区域,不可出现“基因研究介入民族识别”有关的帖子。

“Fuck You Japan”

February 20, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All interactive sites, including on-line forums, blogs, micro-blogs, instant message services, and text message services are requested to note and delete information related to the item “On CCTV’s Soccer Tonight (Zuqiu zhi ye), a sign reading ‘Fuck You Japan’ is displayed in the background on the giant screen.”

“FUCK YOU JAPAN”

国新办:请各互动栏目,包括论坛,博客,微博,即使通讯和SNS注意删除有关“《足球之夜》背景大屏幕挂出FUCK YOU JAPAN”有关的信息。

Fuel Price Increases

February 19, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: For news on the fuel price increases issued by the National Development and Reform Commission, all websites are requested to close commentaries and news postings.  Delete all related discussions on platforms such as micro-blogs, blogs, online forums, instant message services, and text messages.

燃油涨价

国新办:关于发改委宣布燃油涨价的新闻,请各网站关闭评论和新闻跟贴。删除微博,博客,论坛、即时通讯工具、SNS等平台的有关讨论。

Gui Zhen Tang

February 18, 2011

From the Central Propaganda Bureau: The media is not allowed to further report on Gui Zhen Tang’s production of bear bile.  It is forbidden to hype this affair.

归真堂

中宣部: 媒体不得再报道归真堂取熊胆一事, 禁止炒作此事。

“Leather Milk”

February 18, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: Please immediately remove all news related to “leather milk” from the front pages of websites.  Interactive spaces such as online forums, blogs, micro-blogs, and text messages are forbidden from hyping and discussing this incident.

皮革奶粉

国新办:请立刻将有关“皮革奶粉”的相关新闻撤出首页网站。
互动环节论坛、博客、微博客,SNS等处禁止炒作和讨论。

WikiLeaks

February 17, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: It is not permitted in any form to repost or report information related to the distorted reports and malicious hype found on WikiLeaks that implicate the diplomacy, exchange reserves and investments, and other sensitive problems.  All on-line interactive spaces are to thoroughly search out this type of information and immediately delete it.

维基解密

国新办:各网站,不准以任何形式转载或者报道根据维基解密网站内容歪曲报道恶意炒作涉我外交、外汇储备投资等敏感问题的信息。请所有互动环节严查此类信息,查到立即删除。

In China, several political bodies are in charge of Internet content control. At the highest level, there is the , which ensures that media and cultural content follows the official line as mandated by the CCP. Then there is the State Council Information Office (), which has established an “Internet Affairs Bureau” to oversee all Websites that publish news, including the official sites of news organizations as well as independent sites that post news content.

This “Internet Affairs Bureau,” sends out very specific instructions to all large news websites daily, and often multiple times per day. Those instructions do not always mean that related contents are completely banned online, but they instruct websites to highlight or suppress certain type of opinions or information in a very detailed manner.

Chinese journalists and bloggers often refer to those instructions, as well as other type of censorship orders to media and websites, as “Directives from the .” The  (or Minitrue, in Newspeak) is one of the four ministries that govern Oceania in George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In the Chinese blogosphere, it is the online nickname for the  and generally speaking, all other subordinate propaganda agencies including Internet supervision departments.

Today, it’s been said that news does not break, it tweets. For the officials in the the , the news is that their supposedly confidential instructions get tweeted as well.

February 23, 2011 12:56 PM
Posted By: