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Ministry of Truth

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真理部 (Zhēnlǐ Bù): Ministry of Truth

“Masthead” for the Ministry of Truth weekly bulletin, which quotes Nineteen Eighty-Four: “War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is power.”

The “Ministry of Truth” refers collectively to the Central Propaganda Department and subordinate government bodies involved in propaganda and censorship.

In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the mission of the Ministry of Truth is to rewrite history and manufacture “reality.”

The Central Propaganda Department ensures that media and cultural content follow the official line as mandated by the Chinese Communist Party. Below the Central Propaganda Department is the State Council Information Office (SCIO), which in turn manages the Internet Affairs Bureau, responsible for overseeing all websites that publish news. The Internet Affairs Bureau sends out specific instructions to all large news websites daily, often multiple times per day. These instructions can take several forms: they may be directives to not report a certain event, to restrict reporting to Xinhua News wires, or to not “play up” a certain event.

Read the China Digital Times series Directives from the Ministry of Truth and Sensitive Words.