The following censorship instructions, issued by government authorities, have been leaked and distributed online.
Forwarded request from Wuhan University to campus group hosts: Important Notice:
All group members, in accordance with the relevant government departments’ meeting notice, the management of all Wechat groups must be further strengthened. No matter the time or the place, no information unfavorable to the country or the Party, nor any illegal information about the country, Party, or society may be posted on WeChat. WeChat groups or individual users who are unfavorable to the Party, country, or society or who otherwise violate the law will be dealt with severely under the “sweep black and eliminate wicked” campaign. We hope that all WeChat groups will require group staff to control their mouths, control their hands, not create, spread, or believe rumors, and be prepared to take responsibility if they do. People who release illegal information in violation of national laws and regulations may be sentenced to between 1 and 8 years imprisonment, we follow a maximum sentencing principle. Moreover group hosts will shoulder responsibility. Please pass this communication on.
The above directive was circulated on Chinese social media.
Since directives are sometimes communicated orally to journalists and editors, who then leak them online, the wording published here may not be exact. Some instructions are issued by local authorities or to specific sectors, and may not apply universally across China. 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. See CDT’s collection of Directives from the Ministry of Truth since 2011.