Chinese authorities have issued strict instructions to all media agencies in the country over they way they should cover the ongoing dispute between Google and the Chinese government, news aggregator China Digital Times has revealed.
The instructions, which were obtained by the site, tell media sites to pay "strict attention" to a number of points, and effectively ban anything other than state issued and approved coverage.
The guidelines instruct sites to "only use government main media [web site] content", and that headlines must not be changed. Permission to host discussions on the matter with experts is required beforehand.
Discussions and investigations on the topic are "not permitted", while any comments made under news items need to be "carefully managed".
The instructions demand that all web sites "clean up text, images, sound and videos which attack the party, state, government agencies [and] internet policies with the excuse of this event".
Media sites have been told to "clean up all text, images, sound and videos which support Google, dedicate flowers to Google, ask Google to stay, cheer for Google and others [that] have a different tune from government policy".
The instructions also inform web sites that they should not "participate in and report Google's information/press releases".
The diktats give a clear indication of how important an issue this is for the Chinese authorities, as well as providing a snapshot into the extent of the censorship Google may have faced when operating in the country.
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