Latest Directives From the Ministry of Truth, March 24-31, 2011

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.

State Council Information Office: Google’s Unlawful Tax Activity

March 30, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested, on their front pages and headline news pages, to repost the story “Unlawful Tax Activity by Google’s China Business Discovered Again.”  Leave the story up until April 1, 8:00 am: a “Level One” implementation order.

国新办:谷哥公司涉税违法

国新办:请各网站在两首页要闻区转发《谷歌公司在华企业再次被查出涉税违法》,并保留至4月1日8时。一级

State Council Information Office: State Council To Enlarge Foreign Investment Supervisory Bureau

March 30, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are requested not to publish or repost the story “State Council to Enlarge Foreign Investment Supervisor Bureau.”  Websites that have already posted the story are requested to immediately remove it.

国新办:国务院或增设海外投资监管部

国新办:请各网站不要发表和转载关于“国务院或增设海外投资监管部”一文,已经发表的请从网站上立即撤下

Municipal Propaganda Bureau: Tickets for the 2012 Ships

March 29, 2011

From the party propaganda committee of one of the autonomous municipalities: In no case is it allowed to report regarding “Information about tickets for the 2012 ships,” which has appeared on microblogs.

市宣传部:2012船票

某直辖市党委宣传部:关于围脖上出现的”2012船票的消息”,一律不许报道

State Council Information Office: Peking University To Screen Radical-Minded Students

March 29, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: Recently, interactive spaces on many websites have been buzzing about the affair, “Peking University To Screen Radical-Minded Students.”  All website authorities are requested to stop these discussions, and quickly water down this topic.

中宣部:北大会商激进学生

国新办:最近,网上各个主要互动社区对“北大对思想激进的学生采取会商”一事出现热炒,请各所有负责网站停止讨论,并尽快淡化这一话题。

Central Propaganda Department: Nuclear Radioactivity from Japan; Items with Trace Amounts of Radioactivity Discovered in China

March 29, 2011

From the Central Propaganda Department: For reports regarding radioactivity from Japan and the discovery of items with trace amounts of radioactivity in China, all media are only to use copy circulated from the Xinhua News Agency.  Media are not allowed to conduct their own interviews and reports.

国新办:日本核辐射在国内发现微量辐射物

中宣部:所有媒体,有关日本核辐射,在国内发现微量辐射物的报道,一律用新华社通稿,不得自行采访报道。

Central Propaganda Department: Filipino Drug Trafficker Executed

March 28, 2011

From the Central Propaganda Department: Do not report, repost stories, or comment on the execution of a drug trafficker from the Philippines.

中宣部:菲律宾籍毒贩被执行死刑

中宣部:关于菲律宾籍毒贩被执行死刑一事不报道、不转载、不评论。

State Council Information Office: Website of the China Government Securities Depository Trust & Clearing Company Attacked, Service Suspended

March 24, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: All websites are not to repost the story, “Website of the China Government Securities Depository Trust & Clearing Co, Ltd., Chinabond.com.cn, suffers an DDoS attack that suspects service; website cannot be accessed.”  If the story has already been posted, websites are requested to immediately delete it and related content.

国新办:中央国债公司网站遭遇拒绝服务攻击

国新办:各网站不要转发“中央国债公司中国债券信息网受到拒绝服务的攻击,导致网站无法访问”的报道。如已经转发了请各网站立即删掉有关内容。

State Council Information Office: The Crime of Opposing Western Profiteering

March 24, 2011

From the State Council Information Office: On their news and commentary pages, all websites are requested to post in a prominent position the stories, “Arab League Criticizes Military Action Against Libya,” and “In The Eyes of Hegemonism, There Is Only ‘The Crime of Opposing Western Profiteering.’”

国新办:反西方利益罪

国新办:请各网站在新闻和评论页面的醒目区域转发《阿盟谴责对利动武》《霸权主义的眼中只有“反西方利益罪”》两篇文章。

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.

March 31, 2011 4:20 PM
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