Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Redeeming Microsoft

I've been a few days late in following the Microsoft MSN censors bloggers story. MSN Spaces in China is censoring, at least sort of, words like 'democracy', 'demonstration', 'taiwan independence', 'Dalai Lama', 'freedom', 'human rights' in blog titles to obey the orders of Beijing censors. That's like the equivalent of taking out the letters 'd', 'e', 'm', 'o', 'c'... letters out of your keyboard and see if you can continue operating it correctly. The most powerful software company of the land of the free, accommodating and being an accomplice to oppression, the very thing against which it's founded upon. So one day, Microsoft's uber-blogger/employee Robert Scoble defends that decision. Essentially the argument is that they should comply with the laws of the land. Another interesting argument from others is that if Microsoft doesn't comply, they might be dropped from China and that in itself would be far worse because people rely on their Net applications to express themselves and the setback to democracy would be far greater. Read more in Rebecca MacKinnon's blog. Two days ago, Scoble apologised. "My wife says I'm wrong. My son says I'm wrong. My best friends say I'm wrong. My book co-author says I'm wrong. All week long my coworkers have been coming by and saying I'm wrong. Dan Gillmor says I'm wrong. Rebecca MacKinnon says I'm wrong. Now a bunch of Chinese bloggers say I'm wrong. In the face of overwhelming evidence, I admit I'm wrong. Trying to justify the Chinese MSN word blocker is one of the more boneheaded things I've done. Sorry." I think it would indeed be a bad thing if people in Microsoft believe that the decision to do the word blocking is the right one. But Scoble says in the comments section that "not a single Microsoft employee has come up to me and said 'I agree with what you said.'", which is nice, I suppose. There're already too many oppressing other people, no need for democracies to help them along. Luckily, blogger.com doesn't censor 'taiwan independence'. Well, I believe in the one-China policy, preferably the sort of China that has its administrative capital in Taipei! LOL

3 comments:

Jul_Jul said...

LOL.. china SUCK yo!

Man censored huH?
I'd hate to live in china..hahah.. i feel so sorry for those ppl!! haha

jeffyen said...

It gets worse. Seems that 2 days ago, all Typepad blogs are blocked in China. More from Rebecca. For me, this is the equivalent of pigs flying...

Jul_Jul said...

OMG they're CRAZY man!!!