Berkeley-Based Web Site Uncovers China's Scary Internet Censoring Instructions

What?! Googling 'guinea pig fights' again?!!
Newspapers' tech and financial pages have been filled with headlines this week announcing Google's withdrawal from China. Apparently, the Mountain View-based search engine and all-purpose Web behemoth decided it had had enough of the authoritarian Chinese government's efforts to censor information sought by Google users.

But are the censorious tendencies of mainland China really so bad? I mean, they've got some sorta capitalism now, right? And the 2008 Olympics, we all have to admit, were pretty tight. Well, bad news, folks: the Chinese government's thumb is more firmly set atop its news media than you probably thought.

The China Digital Times, a media site run by the Berkeley China Internet Project, has obtained and translated the government's instructions to news Web sites on how to cover the Google fiasco. Among the creepy, creepy directives:"Only use Central Government main media (website) content," "do not conduct related investigative reporting," and "Carefully manage the commentary posts under news items." See the full instructions after the jump.
All chief editors and managers:

Google has officially announced its withdrawal from the China market. This is a high-impact incident. It has triggered netizens' discussions which are not limited to a commercial level. Therefore please pay strict attention to the following content requirements during this period:

A. News Section

1. Only use Central Government main media (website) content; do not use content from other sources
2. Reposting must not change title
3. News recommendations should refer to Central government main media websites
4. Do not produce relevant topic pages; do not set discussion sessions; do not conduct related investigative reporting;
5. Online programs with experts and scholars on this matter must apply for permission ahead of time. This type of self-initiated program production is strictly forbidden.
6. Carefully manage the commentary posts under news items.

B. Forums, blogs and other interactive media sections:

1. It is not permitted to hold discussions or investigations on the Google topic
2. Interactive sections do not recommend this topic, do not place this topic and related comments at the top
3. All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which attack the Party, State, government agencies, Internet policies with the excuse of this event.
4. All websites please clean up text, images and sound and videos which support Google, dedicate flowers to Google, ask Google to stay, cheer for Google and others have a different tune from government policy
5. On topics related to Google, carefully manage the information in exchanges, comments and other interactive sessions
6. Chief managers in different regions please assign specific manpower to monitor Google-related information; if there is information about mass incidents, please report it in a timely manner.

We ask the Monitoring and Control Group to immediately follow up monitoring and control actions along the above directions; once any problems are discovered, please communicate with respected sessions in a timely manner.

Image   |   ford

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