Thursday, February 25, 2016

Baidu and Sina Weibo Censor "CCTV Party Kinship"

On February 19, 2016, the state sponsored Global Times published an article entitled “China's Xi Underscores CPC's Leadership in News Reporting.” Some excerpts:
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday ordered news media run by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government to strictly follow the Party's leadership.

Speaking in a symposium Friday afternoon after touring China's three leading news providers, the People's Daily, Xinhua News Agency and China Central Television, Xi, also General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, called Party- and government-run news outlets the "publicity fronts" of the party and the government.

All news media run by the Party must work to speak for the Party's will and its propositions and protect the Party's authority and unity, Xi said.
That same day, Wu Qing (吴庆), whose Baidu Baike entry says is a commentator for CCTV-2, posted the following images on his verified Sina Weibo account.
The images show Xi Jinping standing in front a message board that says: “CCTV Party Kinship, Our Absolute Loyalty, Please Inspect Us” (央视姓党,绝对忠诚,请您检阅).

On February 22, the Global Times published an editorial entitled “Party Principle Guides Media Innovation.”
The Party regulates the media. The Party-ruled and State-owned media must follow the Party line.
. . . .
[S]ticking to Party principles sets a high bar. It requires absolute loyalty, responsibility and professional qualifications.
. . . .
[W]e should not view the Party's principles as censorship of media reports but as guidance and encouragement of creativity.
These screenshots were taken on February 22, and show that Baidu was censoring “CCTV Party Kinship,” (央视姓党) but not “CCTV” (央视) and not “Party Kinship” (姓党).

These screenshots show that Sina Weibo began censoring searches for “CCTV Party Kinship” on February 22.