Minitrue: Clamping Down on “Under the Dome”

The following instructions, issued to the media by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.

Shanghai Department Information Service: All news work units: The News Bureau of the Central Propaganda Department has put forth the following notice: The Two Sessions are about to begin. Media and websites at all levels must in the coming days tightly focus on major developments at the Two Sessions in order to create a favorable atmosphere of public opinion for the representatives’ and committee members’ discussions of national affairs. To prevent the dilution of Two Sessions topics, you must have a firm hold on public discussion and refrain from sensationalizing certain sensitive topics coming from the Internet and society. Media and websites of all types and levels (including Weibo, WeChat, and news portals) must absolutely discontinue coverage of the documentary “Under the Dome” and its creator,* as well as reports, commentaries, interviews, and special topics that concern or extend to this film and its creator. Websites and services that have already carried content must take down special features or clamp down on the backend. Discontinue reporting on discussions related to certain departments and work units concerned with this film. Strengthen management of forums, blogs, Weibo, WeChat, and other interactive platforms, and resolutely block and delete speech that uses this as an opportunity to cast doubt or attack the government.

The above notice is only to be in the hands of propaganda management departments and those who are in charge of media organizations. Do not send this up the line. While carrying out these instructions, take care to maintain secrecy. (March 3, 2015)

上海市委宣传部新闻处:各新闻单位:中宣部新闻局通知:两会召开在即,各级各类媒体及网站即日起要仅仅围绕两会主题开展宣传报道,为代表委员共商国是营造良好舆论氛围。要牢牢把握舆论议题,不炒作网上和社会上一些热点敏感话题,防止冲淡两会主题。对纪录片《苍穹之下》和该片作者,及与此有关或由此延伸的报道,评论,访谈,专题等,各级各类媒体,网站(含微博,微信,新闻客户端等)一律不再报道。已刊播的网站和客户端等撤下报道专题或压至后台。对一些部门和单位就此片的相关议论,评论等也不再报道。加强论坛,博客,微博,微信等互动环节和新闻客户端管理,对借题质疑,攻击政府的言论,坚决予以封堵删除。

以上通知仅供宣传管理部门和媒体负责人掌握,不层层传达,在坚决执行的同时,注意保密。 [Chinese]

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The directive translated above. (Source: Weibo)

Beijing Internet Management Office: Please remove all reports, commentary, and other contents about Chai Jing’s “Under the Dome” from the home pages and news pages and from [mobile] clients before 9 p.m.

We will check in five minutes. Everyone, once again act quickly, follow directions, and implement this directive immediately. (March 3, 2015)

北京网管办:关于柴静《穹顶之下》所有相关各类报道,评论等内容,请于21时前一律从网站双首页,客户端撤下。

五分内检查。各家再次抓紧落实,按照指令,马上执行。[Chinese]

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Screenshot of the Beijing directive with comment from Weibo user Yuanguobao (@袁国宝), who writes, “The ban came right on schedule. The scariest thing in this country isn’t the smog, it’s the evil hand behind the smog!” (Source: Weibo)

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 a 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.

*The title of the documentary is actually miswritten in the directive as “Under the Firmament” (苍穹之下). Back.