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.
Social media news blog Moonlight Blog (月光博客) reported last week on a list of 81 software applications “suspected of spreading unlawful and harmful content” (涉嫌传播违规有害内容). The list of suspect apps from China’s top media regulator, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio Film, and Television, was shared on Weibo by members of the media.
Last year, after a “censor first, broadcast later” policy was enacted by SAPPRFT, several foreign TV serials disappeared from Chinese streaming sites, and the regulator announced a cap on the number of foreign shows authorized for online distribution. In March of this year, authorities announced investigations into seven video sharing sites, including several top Internet companies, for sharing “unlawful” Japanese animations. In June, a blacklist of 38 such “unlawful” Japanese cartoons was released by the Ministry of Culture.
The increased regulation foreign content has been described by commentators as rooted in a desire to limit the soft power influence of foreign-produced content, and a broader trend in the sanitization of Internet content has been characterized as another move to consolidate state control over online public opinion.
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.