Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Microsoft censors Chinese blogs

Now I'm no Microsoft basher, or anything, but this story makes me a little mad. Not that I have any problem with Microsoft complying with all local laws (stupid or not) and putting up disclaimers to make their users aware that they shouldn't violate those laws. But where I think Microsoft loses it here is in actively participating in the censorship. According to the article, the Chinese Government has pretty tight restrictions on these things anyway. Let them regulate what people write in them, there's no reason for Microsoft to get invloved in that.

Despite the fact that it's just wrong, and it's bad PR, it's not going to do any good anyway. Blocking certain words is a really stupid way to censor anything. Here at work, they block certain words on instant messaging, but it doesn't stop me from using them, I just mispell them, abbreviate them, or use alternate characters or something. And blocking the word freedom isn't going to stop some Chinese blogger from using the word if they want to. Fear of the Chinese government may stop them, but blocking the word won't. Also, what if someone was saying that democracy sucks? That wouldn't be allowed? You can't judge whether or not something is appopriate based on the law without seeing the context. If the Chinese governement wants to act like such idiots, I'm not sure why they let people use the internets in the first place.

Anyway, I'm no big fan of Blogger either, but I would say this to the Chinese Bloggers, censorship or not, MSN Spaces really sucks.

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