Directives from the Ministry of Truth: Beijing Floods

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 Ministry of Truth.” 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.

The following directives were first posted on CDT Chinese on July 21, 2012:

Beijing Municipal Committee Department of Propaganda: For public opinion guidance (舆论引导) concerning yesterday’s rainstorms, all media outlets, including central news organizations, must emphasize the power of human compassion over the elements. All Youth League committees and branches must coordinate positive reports and information on the storm in their commentaries, forum posts, and reprints of articles. Public Weibo accounts, accounts of individual Youth League members and newly registered accounts must all complete report forms.


Beijing Municipal News Office: Do not report on the collapse of the subway. (The floods caused the Jintai Road construction site on Line 6 to cave in [zh].)


Beijing Municipal Office of Internet Propaganda Management: Remove Li Chengpeng’s essay “Totem”.