Microsoft helps China to censor bloggers

Discussion in 'Computers & Website Forum' started by Ben W, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    Microsoft helps China to censor bloggers

    Jonathan Watts in Beijing
    Wednesday June 15, 2005
    The Guardian

    Civil liberties groups have condemned an arrangement between Microsoft and Chinese authorities to censor the internet.

    The American company is helping censors remove "freedom" and "democracy" from the net in China with a software package that prevents bloggers from using these and other politically sensitive words on their websites.

    The restrictions, which also include an automated denial of "human rights", are built into MSN Spaces, a blog service launched in China last month by Shanghai MSN Network Communications Technology, a venture in which Microsoft holds a 50% stake.

    Users who try to include such terms in subject lines are warned: "This topic contains forbidden words. Please delete them."

    Even the most basic political discussion is difficult because "communism", "socialism", and "capitalism" are blocked in this way, although these words can be used in the body of the main text. Many taboo words are predictable, such as "Taiwanese independence", "Tibet", "Dalai Lama", "Falun Gong", "terrorism" and "massacre". But there are also quirks that reflect the embryonic nature of net censorship and the propaganda ministry's perceived threats.

    The word "demonstration" is taboo, but "protest" is all right; "democracy" is forbidden, but "anarchy" and "revolution" are acceptable. On MSN Space, Chinese bloggers cannot use the name of their own president, but can comment on Tony Blair. "Tiananmen" cannot be mentioned.

    A Microsoft spokesman said the restrictions were the price the company had to pay to spread the positive benefits of blogs and online messaging.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/china/story/0%2C7369%2C1506601%2C00.html
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    They also help parents censor their children's site access. So what? Microsoft is in business to sell a product. If a client wants something, there is no reason for them not to give it to them.

    China is wrong, IMO. But I don't live there, and they can do what they want to do. And besides, censorship is not always bad.
     
  3. Ben W

    Ben W
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    So what?

    Why not tell those that are being imprisioned daily in China because they choose to follow the religious faith that you have - So What?

    When Christians suffer in China through false imprisionment, should western Christians shrug their shoulders and say "So What"?
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    You are trying to change the subject Ben. Don't do that. Decide what you want to talk about.

    I don't think Western Christians should shrug their shoulders at religious persecution anywhere. But that wasn't the question you asked. If you want to talk about that, then start a thread about it. You asked about a business doing business. I pointed out that Microsoft is already doing the very thing you are now condemning them for. They are a business. They exist to make money by giving their customers what they desire. They are not Christians.
     

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