Microsoft revises policy on shutting down blogs

By Derek Sooman on
Following a public backlash over the shutdown of a China blogger's site hosted by its MSN Spaces service, Microsoft has revised its policy on deleting weblogs. The policy will now be to block access to sites in a particular country where a problem arises, rather than deleting the content outright. The controversy started after Microsoft shut down the MSN Spaces-hosted blog of Zhao Jing, a Beijing-based researcher for the New York Times. Zhao Jing had posted articles critical of a management purge at Beijing News. The company then received a request from Beijing to shut the weblog down, which they complied with.

Zhao was not given any advanced notice by the company that his site would be deleted and told XFN-Asia several days after the event that Microsoft's customer services had not responded to his requests for information.

Microsoft's rivals Google Inc and Yahoo! Inc have also faced negative publicity for censoring information in China and turning over to the government details of users of its service.

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