You'd think after what was an internationally difficult week China might leap at the chance to expose something like this:
On June 2, an “open letter” allegedly written by Wang Youcai, a student leader during the 1989 protests, was posted to Huanzhongnet [Chinese]. The post claims that exiled fellow student leader Wang Dan called Wang Youcai to ask him to connect with Zhao Weishan, founder of the Church of the Almighty God, and through Zhao to use the church followers to resist the Chinese Communist Party. The doomsday group, which believes that God returned to earth as a Chinese woman, brutally attacked and killed a woman in a Shandong Province McDonald’s restaurant last week.
Do not intentionally promote the Global Times article “Media Reveals Collusion Between the Sentiment of ‘Members of the Democracy Movement’ and ‘Church of the Almighty God.’”
Now this would have been a very handy story (which I think is quite plausible, btw) with which to mobilise public support for Beijing's view of the evenements of 89, their aftermath and the Chinese democratic movement generally. Except that Beijing's view is that there should be no discussion of this full stop, including from supporters. Support implies agency among those appealed to. The important thing is to maintain an absolute monopoly of interpretation, in the sense of deciding which arguments are to be had.
Or perhaps not quite. The article was published in Huanqiu Shibao, the original Chinese version of Global Times, and so has been read by that paper's 3 million or so nationalist readers. But at the same time it is effectively confined to them. Andrew Chubb noted a similar process in Beijing's information management strategy over the recent anti-China rioting in Vietnam:
By the morning of May 15, more than 24 hours after the riots had become a top story in international media, China’s authorities began to ease the information faucet open, at least in certain sectors of the media. The print edition ofHuanqiu Shibao carried a major back-page story titled “Vietnam claims to have arrested 500 ‘extreme elements,’” and this headline also appeared prominently on the paper’s front page (Huanqiu Shibao, May 15). Yet this report, easily the most detailed description of the violence published by the Chinese media to that point, was kept off the Internet until late in the afternoon, and few if any other Chinese newspapers made prominent reports on the topic (ABBao.cn, May 15).  This suggests that the CCP’s information control strategists may consider the estimated 2-3 million left-wing intellectuals and nationalist-leaning citizens who buy Huanqiu Shibao in print as a trustworthy audience rather than a source of unwanted pressure, a threat to social stability or a reflection of broader public opinion, as some influential observers have suggested.
This harks back in a way to the old 'internal reference' system, whereby sensitive material was given restritcted circulation to officials, educated persons and others deemed trustworthy. These days you can make information technically available to everyone, restrict its proliferation and rely on the diverse interests of the population to act as a form of self-censorship. In other words, you can create kind of structural Fox News.