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China imposed strict controls on Google coverage

Our friends at China Digital Times have translated recent orders from China’s State Council Information Office to domestic news organizations and Web sites about how to handle the country’s ongoing dispute with Google. We’re posting an excerpt here, but please read the whole link. There’s a great discussion about government censors’ plans for monitoring social networking and microblogging sites.  

Here’s CDT’s translation:

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.

Sophie Beach, executive editor of China Digital Times, wrote an insightful guest column on our blog last week. Her analysis offers some optimism “Google’s move has helped wake people in China up to the extent to which access to information has been controlled by their government.”

By the way, we released an alert today on the apparent hacking of journalists’ Yahoo e-mail accounts. Right about now, the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the State Council Information Office will have issued the first round of directives about that story.

March 31, 2010 5:19 PM ET |

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