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.