Minitrue: Cool Down on Guo Meimei

The following censorship instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online. The name of the issuing body has been omitted to protect the source.

Turn down the heat on Guo Meimei news. Do not use this as an opportunity to attack the Red Cross. (August 5, 2014)

郭美美相关新闻降低评论热度, 不得借机攻击红十字总会 。

Guo Meimei, notorious since 2011 for flaunting her wealth and claiming to work for the Red Cross, appeared in a televised confession on Monday. She stated she was guilty of prostitution and gambling, and apologized for sullying the name of the Red Cross. The confession quickly followed an earthquake in Yunnan which has killed at least 400, as well as a devastating industrial accident in Jiangsu.

If the central authorities hoped to improve faith in the Red Cross through Guo Meimei’s confession, they miscalculated. Netizens are angry that her story was prioritized over the disasters of the weekend. A People’s Daily Weibo post proclaiming that her apology has cleared the name of the Red Cross has also backfired. 别有天t has a typical response [Chinese]: “Friends, if the Red Cross were innocent, would you send this kind of person to the Public Security Bureau to announce it?”

Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. The date given may indicate when the directive was leaked, rather than when it was issued. CDT does its utmost to verify dates and wording, but also takes precautions to protect the source.

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