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.
Do not reprint this report: “Elementary School Student Sends Letter to Secretary-General Xi, Teasingly Suggests Daddy Xi Lose Weight.” (December 18, 2014)
The letter, which circulated quickly but briefly on Chinese websites last week, first recommends that China colonize Mars. The censors soon pounced on the story. At Language Log, Victor Mair casts doubt on the authorship, noting the elegant prose and lack of childish orthographic errors.
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.