New regulations on all media, coming from the Chinese Communist Party's

Central Propaganda Department, allows for only three "negative" stories before a media outlet is closed down.

Clearly, top officials in China believe that if no-one is allowed to print or broadcast something, it will go away in the minds of the general public.

They are wrong.

When people find that they cannot get any information from official sources, and non-governmental sources can only provide from official sources, the general public will go to underground sources and pass word from one to another. Since they have already seen that official sources are known to be unreliable or actively false on sensitive issues, such as Falun Gong or high-level corruption, even verifiable facts and reporting from official sources will be discounted, and unverified reports from underground will take on credibility out of proportion from their veracity.

In addition, journalists who bring up issues which need to be addressed will have nowhere to go with their work. Either they will have to sit on their stories and give up their professional integrity to the whims of official choice, or they will find themselves on the receiving end of the "state secrets law" -- including the recent twist which could put them into prison or into the grave, courtesy of Chinese Supreme Court guidelines.

Foreign journalists certainly will not accept such restrictions. Ordinary citizens already know how to get around them, or will learn quickly. Common sense tells us that the results of the regulation will be contrary to its constructors' intent: news will flow more freely than before, and less under control of those who think that "being in command" means that they are "in control".

Hang onto your hats, friends! The loose cannons are shooting at Falun Gong, and hitting bystanders and Chinese society instead. Again.