Beijing Flood Censorship Directives

The following example of censorship instructions, issued to the media and/or Internet companies by various central (and sometimes local) government authorities, has 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.

State Council Information Office: Some changes have occurred today in the online discussion of the Beijing flood: challenges and calls for accountability have markedly increased, while some people have seized the opportunity to attack the Party and the government, as well as the social system. We request that all websites boost their manpower and do everything possible to clean out harmful information on the Beijing flood. Attention: Leave untouched general messages calling the situation into question, but diligently erase those which are malicious and hostile. Furthermore, judging from the current situation, online discussion of the “7.23” anniversary has clearly heated up, and a number of malicious and hostile messages have appeared. Measures must be taken to delete messages which use this issue to attack the Party and the government, as well as the social system. Related discussions must be played down. Websites must not actively recommend and promote these messages. (July 23, 2012)

国新办:今天有关北京暴雨的网上舆情发生了一些变化:质疑和问责的言论明显增多,有人借机发表攻击党和政府、攻击社会制度的信息。请各网加强工作人力,全力清理有关北京暴雨的不良信息。注意:一般质疑反思的不要动,恶意攻击的要坚决删除。而且,从现在情况看,网上涉“7.23”周年纪念的言论明显升温,出现了不少恶意攻击性言论,要采取措施,坚决删除借此事攻击党和政府、攻击我社会制度的信息,相关讨论要淡化,网站不得主动推荐、置顶。