"Because in Cyberspace, no one can hear you scream."
Monday, June 13, 2005
[Media Source*] (Cross Posted on Blogger News)
Microsoft Corp. is cooperating with China's government to censor the company's newly launched Chinese-language Web portal, a spokesman for the tech giant said...
On Monday, Agence France-Presse, the French news agency, said bloggers were not allowed to post terms to MSN Spaces such as "democracy," "human rights" and "Taiwan independence." Attempts to enter those words were said to generate a message saying the language was prohibited.
It looks the world's leading software developer (not to mention internet browser) is submitting to the demands of the Communistic regime of China. Chinese citizens already face heavy censorship in the media, and many sites that are able to find ways around the censorship (i.e. forums, some blogs) are forced to censor themselves or face penalties. Microsoft does present an appeal as to why they are cooperating with the Chinese government regarding their filters.
"Even with the filters, we're helping millions of people communicate, share stories, share photographs and build relationships. For us, that is the key point here," [Adam Sohn, global sales and marketing director at MSN] said.
If Microsoft is trying to reach out to the net citizens who are ever loathing it in ever greater numbers, this perhaps is one of the worst ways to demonstrate that they care. China is already forcing many bloggers to register with the government or face penalties, and many weblog services such as Blogger are already blocked by the government from their own citizens to use (although many have gotten around this by using the Google Web Accelerator or Google's chat program Hello).
Microsoft might have just dug it's grave as far as blogging is concerned, as both Yahoo and Google's Blogger will generally only filter out blogs because of indecent content or linkage spam. Microsoft has just "thumbed it's nose" towards the Chinese blogosphere, one they will probably not forget if freedom ever returns to that nation.
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