Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Online Implications for the 3 Days of National Mourning - Public entertainment Venues to Shut?

Early on Monday morning the China twitterati were abuzz with the news that all major Chinese web sites have been ordered to shutdown for the three days of national mourning which began on Monday. The following is an announcement sent out by the government in Hefei, Anhui, followed by Shanghaiist website's translation. There is good reason to believe similar announcements have been sent in other provinces and municipalities:

各市、县委宣传部,各市、县网宣办(外宣办),省直各厅局,各有关网站:
To all propaganda departments, online propaganda units and foreign affairs offices, and to the various bureaus and websites in all cities and counties:

国务院决定,5月19日至21日举行全国哀悼日。根据中央外宣办紧急通知精神,现将有关要求通知如下:
The State Council has gazetted May 19-21 as national days for mourning. In line with the spirit of the Central Foreign Affairs Office's emergency notice, the requirements are as follows:

一、各网站要及时、突出、滚动宣传报道国务院的公告,及时、突出报道党中央、国务院和我省举行的哀悼活动。各网站在做好网上宣传报道的同时,要充分利用手机短信、彩信、手机报等形式做好报道。国务院公告在全国哀悼日期间刊登在各网站首页突出位置。
1. All websites are to immediately report and give priority to reports on the national mourning days declared by the Central Government, the State Council and in your province. While spreading the word online, also exhaust all mobile means including SMS, MMS, etc. The statement by the State Council is to be given priority spacing on the home page of all major websites.

二、各网站停止三天各类娱乐活动和服务。从19日零时起至21日24时,全省各游戏网站、各网站游戏频道一律关闭;各网站的娱乐频道和娱乐性音视频栏目一律用哀悼页面覆盖,相关栏目下的其他网页不得开放;各网站的娱乐论坛一律关闭;各搜索引擎的音乐和娱乐视频搜索功能一律关闭;各网站带有娱乐性的广告一律关闭。

2. All websites are to stop all entertainment activities and services for three days. From May 19 00:00 to May 21 24:00, all gaming websites and gaming channels of major portals are to shut down; Cover all entertainment channels on websites and programmes with a message of mourning, and none of the other pages within these channels should be accessible; All entertainment BBS's are to be shut; All music and video search functions at search engine portals to be shut; All entertainment advertisements should be offline.

三、组织好网上哀悼活动。各网站的网上氛围应与举国哀悼相适应。各新闻宣传网站和主要商业网站要组织好由网民参与的网上哀悼活动,要全面反映广大网民的悲痛之情、爱国之心。
3. Thorough organisation of the online mourning campaign. The online atmosphere of all portals should be in line with the national mourning period. All news portals and commercial portals are to organise online mourning campaigns that allow for participation by netizens, and should reflect the grief and patriotism of netizens in an all-round manner.

四、切实做好网上舆论管理工作。各市、县网宣办(外宣办)、各新闻宣传网站要实行24小时值班,必须由负责人带头值班。有关落实情况及时报告省网宣办(0551-2606017)。
4. Thoroughly manage online discussion. All propaganda bureaus and foreign affairs offices in all cities and counties to operate on a 24 hour basis, and each shift is to have a supervisor. For implementation details please call Online Propaganda Bureau (0551-2606017)

五、切实抓好落实。各市、县网宣办(外宣办)及各有关部门要立即行动起来,将上述要求传达到所辖各各新闻网站、各商业网站、各政府网站,并动员一切力量在网上检查落实情况。各市网宣办(外宣办)负责人和全体工作人员要立即投入工作,确保各项工作要求按时全面落实。
5. Proper implementation. All propaganda bureaus and foreign affairs offices and all relevant departments are to work together and to get the above instructions to all news portals, commercial portals, government portals under their control, and mobilise all resources to supervise the implementation. All propaganda bureaus and foreign affairs offices in various cities and all staff are to be involved to ensure a timely and proper implementation of the work instructions.

六、严肃纪律。对相关工作落实不到位的部门、地方和网站,将作出严肃处理。对不服从要求的网站,一律作关闭处理,并将在事后追究责任。
6. Strict discipline for those departments, localities and websites that have not kept in line with standards. Closure awaits non-compliant portals and investigation to follow to pinpoint responsibility.

As you can see, all of the above opens up lots of questions as to how things will be implemented. Marc van der Chijs of Shanghai-based Tudou tweets, says" People at our company are working to find best way to temporarily shut down game.com.cn and xiaoyouxi.com. Most other sites are still live."

It remains uncertain if cinemas and bars will be ordered to shut too but John Kennedy of Global Voices reveals in a tweet: "Zhang Xiaozhou mentions friend in Shenzhen ordered to shut his bar down for these 3 days".

Andrew Lih tweets: "Whoa, not just HBO and Cinemax blacked out here in my Beijing apartment, but AXN, Discovery Channel and other "entertainment" channels"

We haven't seen any major portals "shut down" yet, but this is what Sina, Sohu, Tudou, Youku, and 163 now look like.


Imagethief comments on the post-quake entertainment blackout:

"Total scope and implications are not yet clear. Much of the discussion on Twitter right now is concerned with how websites are likely to circumvent any ban or benefit from a more easily enforced television ban. But it might just be taking time for orders to ripple through the system and be implemented. A cinema website I looked at this morning didn't say anything. But in my apartment right now all Chinese channels are carrying news and all non-news foreign channels are blacked out. Of course, I can still watch some airhead on CNN talking about Indiana Jones, but I guess some entertainment was destined to slip through. YouTube is also blacked out. After much early back-and-forth, the Olympic torch relay will also be suspended for three days.

A national mourning period is perfectly appropriate. I find the the possibility of a broad entertainment blackout a bit strange. Perhaps watching a vulgar sitcom is inappropriate under the circumstances, but Imagethief doesn't feel that people need to be prompted to mourn under the current circumstances. The flood of terrible photos of death and grief have pretty much ensured an appropriately sober national mood."

Online gaming company WOW China has shut down.

1 comment:

Jo said...

God bless the victims.