MSN China censoring Blogs

By Derek Sooman on June 14, 2005, 6:59 AM
MSN is reportedly censoring personal blogs of users on the Chinese version of MSN Spaces, blocking words like "Freedom", "Democracy" and "Demonstration." It is suggested that these restrictions have been introduced to comply with the demands of the Chinese government, which has laid down strict rules for the people wanting to express themselves online. China is, in my opinion, pretty frightened of the internet; they block quite a bit of the net from outside China, removing anything that they consider to be against the Chinese state. It has been made compulsory now for publishers of blogs to register their blogs with the governing authorities - if not, then the blogs can be shutdown. Free speech, as always, seems pretty down on the list of priorities for the Chinese government in fact, it seems to be a punishable offence.

Users get an alert message with instructions to change some particular keywords on trying to publish posts with content related to human rights and freedom of Taiwan. MSN is currently running their Chinese portal in collaboration with Shanghai Alliance Investment Ltd. and they have admitted to having some guidelines for the users to follow if they want to publish their views on MSN Spaces.

It is not for the first time a US company is being forced to support the Chinese government into blocking access to sensitive information on the web. Google has been reported to hide certain websites and pages on their search results on the Chinese version of their search engines.

User Comments: 5

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Phantasm66 said:
Wasn't this almost exactly what was happening in "1984"? Didn't the regime there remove certain words from circulation, such as Democracy and Freedom, because when you remove the words, you remove the idea.This proves once and for all that Microsoft are only interested in profit. They could not give a stuff for human rights. They could not give a stuff about freedom. All they want is more customers, all they want is to be able to sell Windows to the chinese, and stop them from using Linux. Its awful.
Masque said:
I agree totally. For once, they need to put the almighty dollar (or yen) aside and consider the human factor. This is just flat-out BS.
Mikael said:
Yen? I wasn't aware that China switched over to Japanese currency!Although I admit that I don't like that Microsoft is doing this, it is a smart business decision.
zephead said:
the problem isn't with microsoft, it's with the repressive communist regime running china.
kraugie said:
Whether it be Microsoft or any other company that does buisness globally, you have to take in to account the culture and local laws of that country. Yeah MS is a money hungry giant, but that doesn't mean they can't make their software available wherever they want
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