Ministry of Truth Working Overtime

The last week of May and first week of June are nervous dates for Beijing because June 4 is the anniversary of the brutal crushing of the pro-reform/democratic demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

So to get an idea of just HOW nervous the media masters in Beijing are, I checked in with the China Digital Times to see the latest news of what is being promoted or banned.

Got a real eyeful this time around.

Let’s look at some samples:

May 31

Beijing: War Time Coordination Mechanism of Intelligence and Information for Maintaining Stability during the June 4th Sensitive Period

From the Beijing Municipal Government internal document “War Time Coordination Mechanism of Intelligence and Information for Maintaining Stability during the June 4th Sensitive Period” … All units are requested to collect and report information regarding potential treats to stability of the Capital as well as all work unit activities conducted during this sensitive period.

Note the line: “June 4th Sensitive Period.”

And June 4 is not their only concern.

May 28

From a Provincial Internet Administration Office: Reporting of news related to the recent ethnic conflicts between Mongol minority and Han majority in Xilinhot or Foxconn’s new suicide incident are prohibited. No discussion of any form on all micro-blogging sites, blogs, and discussion forums. Violators will be subjected to a RMB 30,000 fine.

That is a heft fine for anyone who wants to talk about what is going on in China.

And here we see the orders on how Chinese media are to handle a bombing and the Foxconn suicide:

May 26

From the State Council Information Office: In regard to the serial bombings in Fushun, Jiangxi, all discussion and comment sections of all websites must be shut down. All interactive spaces must be managed well.

From a Provincial Internet Administration Office: Urgent: All discussions of the Jiangxi serial bombings are requested to be immediately and thoroughly deleted. No discussion should be allowed if posts cannot be managed. All photos of corpses need to be deleted.

From the State Council Information Office: Urgent: Another Foxconn worker committed suicide. No reporting of any form will be allowed on interactive spaces including all discussion forums, micro-blogs, and blogs.

Smart phones and the Internet have changed how the people in China communicate and the ruling class is trying desperately to plug all the leaks that allow facts to get through.

To paraphrase Princess Leia: “The more you tighten your grip, more information slips through your fingers.”

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Filed under Censorship, China, Press Freedom

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