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Bing Censoring All Simplified Chinese Language Queries

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the boy-that's-a-great-wall dept.

Censorship 214

boggis writes "Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times journalist, is calling for a boycott of Microsoft's Bing. They have censored search requests at the request of the Chinese Government (like certain others). The difference is that Bing has censored all searches done anywhere in simplified Chinese characters (the characters used in mainland China). This means that a Chinese speaker searching for Tiananmen anywhere in the world now gets the impression that it is just a lovely place to visit."

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contrast (5, Funny)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183086)

well if their goal was to differentiate from google, i guess "don't be evil" is a good place to stand apart.

Re:contrast (-1, Troll)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183140)

well lets see slashdot

chinese here ->
russian here ->

censored.

image [yfrog.com]

Re:contrast (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183244)

Censoring for political content is worlds apart from only allowing Latin characters on an English-language website.

Re:contrast (5, Informative)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183216)

well if their goal was to differentiate from google, i guess "don't be evil" is a good place to stand apart.

Google also censor results in China. Search for Tiannamen Square or Falun Gong on google.cn and you find just the same whitewashed results as with Bing. The difference is merely one of implementation. Google has done it by censoring the results in their country-specific site. Bing have done it by censoring results when you search using a language form popular in mainland China. It's hard to say conclusively which is least effective. With Google you can search via one of their international sites to get around it. With Bing you can enter search terms in a different language such as English. Both are, of course, subject to the Great Firewall of China interfering when you follow results to places like Wikipedia etc. which is not the fault of either Google or Bing.

So in summary, Google innovates and Microsoft copies. Not much change there, but unfortunately they have both sold out to the Chinese government. Neither is clean.

Some quasi-scientific experiments (5, Informative)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183374)

Assuming we have an Internet surfer searching for information about Tiananmen square.

Inputs can be "Tiananmen" or tian1an2men2 in simplified Chinese (which will not render on /. due to missing UTF8 support)

Compare the Google returns for searches
http://www.google.de/search?hl=cn&safe=off&q=tiananmen&btnG=Search [google.de]
http://www.google.cn/search?hl=cn&safe=off&q=tiananmen&btnG=Search [google.cn]

http://images.google.de/images?hl=cn&safe=off&q=tiananmen&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.de]
http://images.google.cn/images?hl=cn&safe=off&q=tiananmen&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.cn]
(note the difference in the TLD, safe search is off in all cases)

Wildly different results, the CN domain returning no image of Tank Man and the DE domain returns nothing BUT him.

Trying that again in traditional Chinese:
http://images.google.de/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0 [google.de]
http://images.google.cn/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0 [google.cn]

Results almost identical, with only a slight variation in their order.

http://www.google.de/search?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iw&start=0 [google.de]
http://www.google.cn/search?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=iw&start=0 [google.cn]

Results again wildly different. Both searches now return Chinese content, but the DE domain prominently features a YouTube link to our good old friend Tank Man, while the CN domain prominently features a city map and Baidu links, which are guaranteed to not contain something about Tank Man, I can assure you.

This get's more pronounced if we search for Tiananmen in Chinese AND the year number 1989, which simply must return some content about the protests if the search engine itself is any good.

http://images.google.de/images?hl=en&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.de]
http://images.google.cn/images?hl=en&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.cn]

Same result: both searches return pages entirely in Chinese, but the DE domain return a Chinese photo of the protests first and the CN domain returning only photos of The Party Leaders and happy soldiers.

Let's compare the results with other TLDs
Russia: http://www.google.ru/images?hl=in&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.ru]
Japan: http://www.google.co.jp/images?hl=in&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.co.jp]
S.Korea: http://www.google.co.kr/images?hl=in&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.co.kr]
India: http://www.google.co.in/images?hl=in&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.co.in]
TAIWAN(!) http://www.google.com.tw/images?hl=in&safe=off&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%201989&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.com.tw]

All domains return very very similar results in a mixture of Tank Man, The Dear Leaders, soldier parades and demonstration or riot scenes.
Except the CN domain, of course, which conspicuously omits Tank Man and the demonstration scenes.

I would conclude that Google pretty distinctly skews the results.

I did not find a way to obtain Bing URLs that create reproducible search results, so I cannot compare it.

But: The Chinese version of Bing does return some photos of the aftermath of 1989 Tiananmen events when searched in Chinese terms. But I cannot judge if Bing simply filters my IP by country of origin.

I will still not recommend using Bing, because it has an easily recognizable trait to skew the results in English, for English speaking users visiting from whatever country of origin. Example search terms to try are Mac OS, Linux, Ubuntu, Windows - the results and the fairness of the results are abysmal.

But I will not try that when I'm back on mainland China, that takes someone braver than me.

Re:Some quasi-scientific experiments (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183422)


I can't mod you up because I'm posting all over this thread. But thank you for a very useful post.

Re:Some quasi-scientific experiments (4, Informative)

Jeeeb (1141117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183584)

Trying that again in traditional Chinese:
http://images.google.de/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0 [google.de]
http://images.google.cn/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8&btnG=Search+images&aq=f&oq=&start=0 [google.cn]


I don't speak (or read) Chinese but I do know Japanese and can recognise simplified vs traditional characters. I'm pretty sure that search is in simplified characters. I replaced the "men" with the Japanese "mon" which is identical to the traditional Chinese "men" and the results changed significantly. Link:

http://images.google.de/images?hl=en&safe=off&um=1&sa=1&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%96%80&btnG=Search+images [google.de]

Re:Some quasi-scientific experiments (0)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183690)

Wildly different results, the CN domain returning no image of Tank Man and the DE domain returns nothing BUT him.

Search results are skewed to perceived national interests. For instance, if you use the U.S. version of Google to search for "germany", Wikipedia's "Nazi Germany" entry appears at the top of the second page. If you search for "germany" in the German version, this doesn't happen. Similar ranking differences can be observed for the names of Nazi collaborator groups using other national versions of Google ("vichy" in the French version, for instance).

I don't think this is censorship, at least it cannot be proven from the outside, just by looking at search result, that it is the real thing. Part of it is probably Google's self-defense: if they rank results which are served locally higher than others, it is less likely that they get sued because they can show that the original content is served from the same country, and tell the plaintiff to get rid off it directly at the source. For many users, the results may actually be more useful as a result of national skewing. But the whole scheme breaks down for searching tech topics: you get tons of obscure local blogs reposting original U.S. content instead the original sources, which is rather useless most of the time.

Re:Some quasi-scientific experiments (5, Informative)

sdiz (224607) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183764)

IThe footer of google.cn reads "According to local laws, regulations and policies, some search results are not shown." (google translation)

Re:Some quasi-scientific experiments (2, Insightful)

aurispector (530273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183832)

The gist is that google, ms and yahoo can't do a damn thing about it. Their choice is either to abide chinese law or not operate in the market. Idealism not withstanding, china is the fastest growing market and if the day should come when search is NOT censored by the government, they will need an established presence in the market or they'll merely be also-rans.

In the meantime we all get treated to the spectacle of exactly how newspeak will be implemented. The only question remaining is whether the future worldwide will be dominated by open or censored search results. Frankly, it doesn't look good.

Re:Some quasi-scientific experiments (1)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183958)

The footer of google.cn reads "According to local laws, regulations and policies, some search results are not shown." (google translation)

Google shows this on some German search results as well, even though it's rather likely that they haven't received an authoritative request to alter the results (it's hard to prove a negative, though).

Re:contrast (-1, Flamebait)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183504)

Google are another group of ass hats. Google, better start acting like an American company and stand for something.

Oh but they need the chinese market.... boo hoo.

BRING THE CHINESE freedom of information... not cow tow to them and insult all of us who believe in it dearly.

Re:contrast (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183588)

if china won't let you into the country how can you bring them freedom? China doesn't need google google needs china. same goes fot MSFT, and heck all of the USA. China only needs our money to support themselves, however without their cheap products the american economy tanks.

Re:contrast (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183598)

>>>Google has done it by censoring the results in their country-specific site. Bing have done it by censoring results when you search using a language form popular in mainland China.
>>>

The Microsoft solution strikes me as the quick-and-dirty solution, while the Google method shows more advanced programming.

And for those that say, "Google shouldn't censor results," then you are naive. If Google did not censor, then Chinese government would block them completely and MS would quickly obtain a virtual monopoly over 1.3-billion-person market. I don't think any of us want to see that happen (again). Google is smart to take whatever market they can get in China, and as they gain influence, pressure the Chinese government (the way they pressure the US and EU) to do things the google way (open).

 

Re:contrast (2, Insightful)

phiwum (319633) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184072)

And for those that say, "Google shouldn't censor results," then you are naive.

Some people say Google shouldn't censor results because it is immoral to do so. If it is immoral to censor results, the fact that MS will gain dominance in China is irrelevant. So is the fact that failure to censor will hurt Google's bottom line. Most moral realists believe that moral norms trump other norms, so if it is immoral for Google to censor, then they shouldn't censor.

Note: I'm not necessarily in that camp. I'm not sure whether censoring results in China is morally prohibited or not. I'm just trying to explain why your claim that others are naive is insulting and false. Maybe you think that it's naive to believe that one should do what moral duty requires, but a less sensitive soul may reply that this opinion is just evidence of your own stunted intellectual development.

Re:contrast (5, Insightful)

mikechant (729173) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183842)

Google also censor results in China. Search for Tiannamen Square or Falun Gong on google.cn and you find just the same whitewashed results as with Bing. The difference is merely one of implementation.

I don't agree. I think there is a clear moral difference. Google seem to be doing the minimum they need to do to comply with Chinese law - restricting what is seen via the (effectively Chinese govt. owned) .cn domain in China. MS are apparently censoring everything that is seen by anyone using simplified Chinese anywhere in the world. Yes, they could use another language - if they even release that some search results are 'going missing'. So MS get the 'evil' award in this case because they are in practice censoring far beyond what even Chinese law requires.

Re:contrast (1)

dotwhynot (938895) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183220)

well if their goal was to differentiate from google, i guess "don't be evil" is a good place to stand apart.

Google also censors in China. I can't tell which of the two solutions I think is worse, so giving Google a free pass and only going after Bing the way this journalist does seems unsubstantiated. It is an easier target though.

Re:contrast (3, Interesting)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183262)


Actually, this gets more interesting having looked into this more closely. It's just about possible that Microsoft is being less evil than Google in this case. Whilst Google admits to deliberate censorship both on its google.cn site and (to a much lesser extent but still to some extent) on its google.com site (they eliminate some Falun Gong results from their image search - they admit this), Microsoft are pleading a different case. Basically, Microsoft have stated that the way their search engine works is to return results with a preference toward sites in the language searched in. Naturally when you search in simplified Chinese characters, which are overwhelmingly used in mainland China as opposed to places like Hong Kong and Taiwan which use the complex form, most of the results in that language are going to be from mainland China. And mainland Chinese websites are, well, not going to be essays about Tiannamen Square or have many pro-Falun Gong material.

I condemn censorship, but Microsoft's explanation is eminently plausible. In fact, if you thought about it, it's a natural consequence of returning search results in a particular language if that language is more or less exclusive to a particular nation that censors.

Re:contrast (2, Interesting)

netsharc (195805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183344)

Of course it's very possible that there are people outside of Mainland China writing about Tiannamen, using simplified Chinese. A Google search (not a Bing one!) should confirm that.

So who speaks simplified Chinese?

619,427 censored individuals in NYC, as of 2007 (2, Informative)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183824)

The New York metropolitan area contains the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, enumerating 619,427 individuals as of the 2007 American Community Survey Census statistical data, including at least 6 Chinatowns, not to mention fledgling ethnic Chinese enclaves emerging throughout the New York metropolitan area.

Re:contrast (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183852)

No, this is dangerous. MS are setting a precedent - a search engine censoring results globally for one language, regardless of the local laws of the country being served.

The Chinese government must love this: you can no longer get around the censorship by simply using a proxy in another country. Sure, you could search in English, but most Chinese people don't have a good enough grasp of it.

So English queries favor sites from England then? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183908)

"Microsoft have stated that the way their search engine works is to return results with a preference toward sites in the language searched in."

Really? It's rather curious then that when I search in English sites from England aren't at the top of the list. Assuming everyone who speaks Chinese is from China is not even ludicrous ... it is just the spin of the day/fiasco. What do they do when you search in French? Do they prefer Canada or France? Think man! Think!

Re:So English queries favor sites from England the (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183988)

Really? It's rather curious then that when I search in English sites from England aren't at the top of the list. Assuming everyone who speaks Chinese is from China is not even ludicrous ... it is just the spin of the day/fiasco. What do they do when you search in French? Do they prefer Canada or France? Think man! Think!

What is this rubbish? You find it "curious that when you search in English, sites from England aren't the top of the list"? English is spoken far more widely than just in Englang, including a certain country called the USA you might have heard of. You'd be surprised if you searched in English and got lots of results in German, though. In contrast "simplified Chinese" is used by mainland China (you can't even include Hong Kong as they don't use it much), the UN and the impressive but nontheless tiny "country" of Singapore. So why do you go all conspiracy theory when the primary search results for a search in simplified Chinese are overwhelmingly sites from mainland China?

Saying that I "assume everyone who speaks Chinese is from China" is showing a complete ignorance of what we're actually discussing.

Evil? (2, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183400)

From TFA:

Microsoft's current position, which insults my intelligence and yours, is that there was indeed a bug of some kind and that that is fixed--but that searches in simplified characters continue to produce pro-Communist results because of the algorithms used.

Think about this. Most web sites that are in simplified Chinese are probably in... Wait for it... China!

So I'm guessing that since discussion of topics contrary to the state agenda will get you thrown in jail, that most sites written in simplified Chinese about things such as Tienanmen Square really are about how it's a nice place to visit. If that's the case, then it's entirely believable to me that top search results in simplified Chinese for topics like that would return state-sanctioned sites.

It's not insulting to my intelligence to think that there's probably nothing to see here, except a reporter who is probably justifiably skeptical of Microsoft's claims, but in this particular case, is probably being a bit overzealous in his accusations.

I wonder, if the reporter tried an Arabic language search for something like "American aggression" and most results returned (surprise!) web sites expressing anti-American sentiment, that must mean that Microsoft is also appeasing terrorists, right? EVIL!!!

Re:Evil? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183920)

"Think about this. Most web sites that are in simplified Chinese are probably in... Wait for it... China!"

... and yet Google's results are markedly different, and represent a tried and true robust ranking system based on what people querying in that language are looking for. Since most of the results they will get with Bing are ... wait for it ... censored garbage , it is probably insulting the Chinese speaking/writing population of the US to assume they prefer to read China Government censored propoganda.

Re:Evil? (2, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184048)

Since most of the results they will get with Bing are ... wait for it ... censored garbage

Okay, you're posting all over the place with this stuff. What evidence do you have that Bing is censoring results? Google admits that they censor results. Microsoft say that they do not. So back up what you're saying with something, please. TFA hasn't held up. It makes sense that if the vast majority of online presence in a particular language is in mainland China where online censorship is the rule, that the results of searches for, e.g. Tianamen Square, come up with Tourist Information rather than articles about the protests. But even so, it's not the case that this universally happens. Compare the two image searches posted lower down in this thread, done in Google and Bing. The Google one omits pictures of protests and "tank man". Bing actually has them.

So kindly back up your statements with some evidence, because I'm not seeing it. I'd like some searches in simplified Chinese to back this up, please.

Re:Evil, No Clueless, NO BOTH (1)

omb (759389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183986)

After a VERY few searches it is Obvious that Bing is a very poor search engine, Not even on a par with what Altavista was.

Now, M$ EVIL (TM),

implemented cluelessly. As soon as their grip in American Corporates is broken they are in for a very hard time.

Re:Evil, No Clueless, NO BOTH (2)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184096)

After a VERY few searches it is Obvious that Bing is a very poor search engine, Not even on a par with what Altavista was.

What were your search terms?

"uncensorable" websites, routers, etc ?? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183778)

it seems that most companies now, at the request of various governments, copyright groups, spy groups, "security" policies, police, pro-paranoia parents groups, etc are working on many ways to censor everything. and in many cases, succeeding to a good extent, as a result of the work done. in the US, it's mostly corporations using lawyers- but it works. what happened to the "uncensorable" internet? where are the projects to make communication "uncensorable" again? perhaps these belong more properly in the political-technical-legal area, and not possible in the purely technical area.

The Google route? (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183098)

Are they stating on said search results that they have filtered the results due to Chinese laws?

I mean, they can be only so subtle about it before China decides to block it entirely but at least MS could dangle that bit of info there for any one curious to wonder "Hey, now what law is that and why is it enforced?"

Durrrrr (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183108)

Dearest Freak,

Fuck You.

Love, Your Foe.

The evil government route? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183148)

Are they stating on said search results that they have filtered the results due to Chinese laws?

I mean, they can be only so subtle about it before China decides to block it entirely but at least MS could dangle that bit of info there for any one curious to wonder "Hey, now what law is that and why is it enforced?"

It's most likely illegal to give people unbiased information or hint at the fact you are being compelled to give limited information. Living with government abuses is a condition of doing business in any country.

It's not just China that does this anyway, they just do it worse than most. Behavior of this type is common in most countries. I've seen a few blatant examples of this kind of censorship from the UK coming from both the government and private interests. It's likely that for every government abuse of this type that's noticed there are a few thousand that aren't.

Re:The evil government route? (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#30184062)

I was thinking more along the lines that Google puts up a notice saying some results are not shown because they are complying with local laws. That's probably not the exact language but I think it's close.

Anyone surprised? (4, Interesting)

NecroPuppy (222648) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183126)

This is Microsoft.

They probably meant to only censor these things in China, but v1 of their filters are worldwide.

They'll have it fixed by v3. Probably. Maybe. I doubt it.

(Note: I also think that the MS Bing commercials are about the dumbest I've seen. They beat out the mother and son's college roommate making kissy faces at each other. And that takes doing.)

Re:Anyone surprised? (4, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183340)

Note: I also think that the MS Bing commercials are about the dumbest I've seen

Smart people will choose products based on their needs and their research on the matter. Commercials are for the people who associate brands with lifestyles (i.e. silly people). Don't be surprised if you find their commercials dumb, be uh, depressed that there exists a target audience for those commercials. Hmmmm. I need to re-think this. :(

Re:Anyone surprised? (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183614)

The type of people who say I should get "real" jeans called Levis, instead of the same quality but lower priced Arizonas or Wranglers. I used to fall for that nonsense, listening to the advice of the crowd ("Levis are cool; others are not") but not anymore.

Re:Anyone surprised? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30184090)

Are you seriously using Levi as an example of trendy jeans? They're ugly, cheap and uncomfortable. Seven, Guess, Lucky, Diesel...if you want to whine about overpriced "cool" brands, start with them. Except they're actually more comfortable than the cheap garbage.

Re:Anyone surprised? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183706)

a lot of other companies also censor. i'm sure you trip over your dick to kiss their ass when it suits you. you're a fucking hypocrite.

not really (4, Informative)

siddesu (698447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183132)

DNRTFA, but I just did a search in Simplified Chinse for Tiananmen, and the first couple of hits referenced the massacre. Links to Wikipedia and bloggers discussing the events also popped up. I am not in China, FWIW.

Re:not really (4, Informative)

TeethWhitener (1625259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183248)

Yeah I did a search on Bing [bing.com] for "" ('six-four,' a mainland reference to June 4, 1989, the date the army was deployed in Tiananmen Square) in simplified chinese and the tank man picture was still there under images. Though I'm also not in China. For comparison, the same search in google.cn [google.cn] yields a message at the bottom of the page saying something like 'According to local laws and policy, some search results are omitted.'

Re:not really (1)

TeethWhitener (1625259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183260)

Left something important out: The first hit for that google link above is a page chronicling the Tiananmen square incident of 1989. The guy who runs it is in Shanghai. I wonder if it's accessible from the mainland.

Re:not really (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183328)

I clicked on both links and got a blank page in my web browser. Here's a tester [websitepulse.com] although I don't know why Hong Kong is listed - it's not behind the GFW.

boycott Bing (1)

simoncpu was here (1601629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183136)

I've been "boycotting" Bing for quite some time now, because Google works for me. Now that there's a call for boycott, I visited Bing instead just to find out what the controversy is all about.

Re:boycott Bing (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183228)


Google also censor search results in China. And conceivably more effectively if you can't get access to Google sites outside of China. (Typically, Google find a more savvy way of pulling off the technical feat of search-censorship than Microsoft). Yahoo has been the worst of the big three based on what information is available to us - they actually handed over the confidential information of a pro-democracy campaigner over there.

Re:boycott Bing (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183522)

Boycotts do not work. Go bing it and find out why.

Chinese (5, Insightful)

TopSpin (753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183150)

Bing censors at the "request" of the Chinese government. Google [slashdot.org] censors at the "request" of the Chinese government. Yahoo [slashdot.org] censors at the "request" of the Chinese government. As a result of whatever you care to attribute the subservience of the Chinese people, 21% of our species is subject to the filtering policies of the Chinese government. Ultimately the Chinese must be the the reason this tyranny comes to an end. Or not.

The marketing companies of the West aren't interested in fighting their battles. Stop expecting ad pimps to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, raise your expectations of the Chinese.

Re:Chinese (2, Interesting)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183284)

The marketing companies of the West aren't interested in fighting their battles. Stop expecting ad pimps to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, raise your expectations of the Chinese.

Stop expecting the Chinese to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, despair.

Re:Chinese (4, Insightful)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183352)

The marketing companies of the West aren't interested in fighting their battles. Stop expecting ad pimps to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, raise your expectations of the Chinese.

Stop expecting the Chinese to be responsible for liberating anyone. Instead, despair.

Not us anyone, but themselves. There is no reason to despair for 1.34B that prove ultimately incapable of liberating themselves. Most of their wounds since the late 1800's are culturally self induced.

It'd be nice to see them finally get the fuck up as a modern, democratic (or at least humane in the modern sense) nation, but there is a point that you just go "agh, WTF" and just sit back and watch the train wreck, waiting to see if it implodes into a self-sucking black hole, hoping it doesn't fuck up nearby nations in the process.

I find it deplorable that search engines, corps and entire governments bend over to China's economic might and implement/look over things that are unjustifiable by any modern notion of morality. But social reform is not their job or duty - that's the people's. The onus is eventually on them.

One could argue that knowledge is power, and that by removing search access to them you deprive them of the ability to fight for freedom. But the Chinese as a whole aren't some tiny tinie minority fighting for survival with bows and arrows. They have always proved themselves resourceful, and at some point they need to take responsibility for their own destiny.

Their freedom is not dependent on western search engines or corporations choosing to fight a moral fight that is not their own and for which they are not capable of even dreaming to win. Freedom, freedom in the modern sense of the world as people in the developed world knows, that depends on them, the Chinese people.

Re:Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183442)

While the Chinese political system was rapidly turning to the end of its dynastic cycle (the pattern is pretty consistently recurrent in Chinese history), the wounds were not self induced.

The mix of colonialism and outright invasion together with cultural shock from military defeats sent China into a state of coma.

Much of the setbacks of China in the past two centuries was about drinking too much western coolaid. Not that the western ideas were worthless, but the political reforms that were supposed to "modernize" China was so laced with immature imitation of western ideology that they basically failed one by one. (Not unlike what's happening when the US tried to set up a government in Iraq)

If there's a rational explanation to China's deaf ears on petitions to human rights, freedom, democracy and the such, it's not because of some evil agenda, but rather the fact that it was tried, and didn't work out. Yes, maybe they didn't try hard enough, but nobody's in a hurry to take those risks again.

Re:Chinese (4, Informative)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183542)

While the Chinese political system was rapidly turning to the end of its dynastic cycle (the pattern is pretty consistently recurrent in Chinese history), the wounds were not self induced.

The mix of colonialism and outright invasion together with cultural shock from military defeats sent China into a state of coma.

Much of the setbacks of China in the past two centuries was about drinking too much western coolaid. Not that the western ideas were worthless, but the political reforms that were supposed to "modernize" China was so laced with immature imitation of western ideology that they basically failed one by one. (Not unlike what's happening when the US tried to set up a government in Iraq)

If there's a rational explanation to China's deaf ears on petitions to human rights, freedom, democracy and the such, it's not because of some evil agenda, but rather the fact that it was tried, and didn't work out. Yes, maybe they didn't try hard enough, but nobody's in a hurry to take those risks again.

I hardly see early 1900's warlordism and subsequent fuck ups like the Cultural Revolution as the result of western cool aid. Human rights, freedom and democracy had never been tried out. The only that had ever been tried was industrialization. But human rights, freedom and democracy? When were they tried? And certainly there had been Chinese polities that have enjoyed them to various degrees of success (Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.)

Everything that has been tried in mainland China has been about twisted concepts of modernization and industrialization, during the unraveling of the Qing dinasty (or more like a lip service as reaction to Western/Japanese interventionism.) It was pretty much non-existing with the warlords period and during the Sino-Japanese war. And then, they went at it again with the establishment of the PRC within the frame of failed ideologies and false, snake-oil sociology.

At no point there has been a single entity or polity in Mainland China that has tried human rights, freedom and democracy. Ergo, they can't claim they have given up on them because they are failed concepts.

Re:Chinese (3, Interesting)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183590)

BTW, I'm not bagging on the Chinese. I'm simply stating that for democracy to takes place, they have to undergo a deep and widespread cultural change. Their culture has been based on authoritarian figures, be it dynastic or socialist. And yet, they are now consciously in the 20-21st century. So it is up to them to get democratic institutions to work for them. No amount of protestation from our part against collaborating search engines will ever change that.

Re:Chinese (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183300)

The difference here is that Bing is going above and beyond the "call of duty". Google et al., as I understand it, filters only on their Chinese version (like google.cn). Bing is extending this so that any search done with Chinese characters is filtered.

This doesn't make Google et al. any less complacent or "evil" for doing so, but it does show that Bing/Microsoft is quite happy to throw away freedom of speech outside of the required areas, and is thus more evil for it. (Of course, according to /. Microsoft is always evil, so this wouldn't be new for them.)

Re:Chinese (-1, Flamebait)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183532)

This means that Bing censors at the request of the American government.

THIS MEANS THAT.... Bing does not stand up for freedom of information. This means.... The millions that fought and died in all of our key American wars, have died for nothing! This means that Microsoft has benefited from their sacrafices, and stands on their dead bodies with greed, and no appreciation at all.

FUCK YOU corporate America for selling us out for slave wages, censorship, and greed at the cost of our American ideals.

Google, you're just as lame for backing down to China.

The NYT reporter misses the forest for the trees. (4, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183156)

The reporter at the "New York Times" completely misses the big picture. If Bing is censoring only simplified Chinese queries, then anyone in mainland China can do a search in any other language and obtain the full uncensored results.

In other words, Microsoft has cleverly created a big hole (in its agreement with Beijing) that allows uncensored information to flood into China. The only catch is that the query must be in some language (e. g., English) that is not simplied Chinese.

By contrast, Google censors everything in China, regardless of the language used for the query.

Besides, Microsoft's scheme will encourage ordinary Chinese to learn a foreign language: English., Japanese, etc. Doing so is always positive as many Western languages means many channels by which foreign ideas can enter China, thus modernizing it.

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (2, Funny)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183180)

The reporter at the "New York Times" completely misses the big picture. If Bing is censoring only simplified Chinese queries, then anyone in mainland China can do a search in any other language and obtain the full uncensored results.

In other words, Microsoft has cleverly created a big hole (in its agreement with Beijing) that allows uncensored information to flood into China. The only catch is that the query must be in some language (e. g., English) that is not simplied Chinese.

By contrast, Google censors everything in China, regardless of the language used for the query.

Besides, Microsoft's scheme will encourage ordinary Chinese to learn a foreign language: English., Japanese, etc. Doing so is always positive as many Western languages means many channels by which foreign ideas can enter China, thus modernizing it.

More likely google tried to do the wrong thing because they had to and succeeded. Microsoft tried to do the wrong thing because they had to and messed it up.

We have seen the results of Microsoft's work and Google's work. Google is an innovative technology company, Microsoft are a bunch of clowns with an innovative and sometimes illegal marketing strategy.

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183312)


Lets see you write an operating system and an Office suite with programs like Excel. ;)

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (2, Informative)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183556)

Why? Couldn't he just buy one [wikipedia.org] , like Bill did in the first place?

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183640)


OP: Microsoft are a bunch of clowns who can't create decent products. Me: Lets see you produce something better than Windows 7 or Excel, or even remotely close to that. You: Three decades ago, Microsoft bought an OS.

I fail to see the logical sequence here. If you're just trying to find ways to put the credit for any good points of MS products onto others, rather than give it to them, then you could at least show some more up to date knowledge and refer to Windows NT which built its networking capabilities on top of FreeBSD (and was later the platform for Windows 2000) and for which I don't think they paid a cent, unlike MS-DOS. But the fact remains that MS have put out some very good software and likely put the OP who's calling them "clowns" to shame. And now that they actually have credible threats to them (Yay! Linux!), they're really getting their act together. Note that I don't give a "Yay! Apple" even though they are also a motivator to MS to improve their products. The reason is that I see Apple as merely Saruman to MS's Mordor. They don't want to overthrow MS, they want to be MS. The various Linux distros are the Fellowship of the Ring in this analogy. Gandalf = Slackware. Aragorn = Red Hat. SuSE has to be Boromir (will betray the rest). Legolas has got to be Ubuntu - has all the style and the looks, bit poncy. Debian would probably be Elrond - totally important and the basis for everyone else's progress, but not going to get the glory. Gimli is surely Gentoo - really impressive if you look at the facts, but ugly and frequently overlooked.
I've gone off on a tangent, haven't I?

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (0, Troll)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183950)

You really are so full of shit you actually think you smell good.

My code is now being used by clients such as Micrsoft, BT and the London Stock Exchange ...

did they hire you by name after a long and exhaustive search throughout the world, or did a firm you worked for put you on a team that did the work ? Given that the LSE had a massive crash, are we to assume your code wasn't involved ?

Do you think you could beat MS at software production ? Why do you think the other poster thinks that ? Conflating an organisations abilities with an individuals is playground shite. I think Cadillac make crappy cars, do I need to make better cars in order to have an opinion on the subject ?
Prick.

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183338)

Google is an innovative technology company, Microsoft are a bunch of clowns with an innovative and sometimes illegal marketing strategy.

Nice joke. Google finds new ways to display ads and create half baked "free" web sites (most of the time they just buy other companies) with limited features. Google Wave is the buggiest piece of shit website that I've ever used. Microsoft creates enterprise, production ready tools that 90% of the world uses. And as much as trolls like you would like to think otherwise quite a few of them actually choose to use Microsoft products. What 'innovative' tools has google released? google talk? picasa? LOL. Wake me up when they design their own kernel or write their own ide or office suite from scratch. Oh wait, thats right. They don't need to. The found a way to make the linux 'useful-idiots' devs do their work for them so they can steal it. How "innovative".

From my perspective Google is the clown trying to mine users data to "innovate" and show ads. Hell they even started 'innovating' and inserting ads into bloody youtube videos now. Comparing Microsoft Research with Google is a bloody joke. MSR is lightyears ahead. But hey, thats the view you come to when you have a mental model that agrees with reality. Too bad you don't.

But apart from all that, Its entertaining to see anti-ms trolls. So, please don't stop! I always get a good laugh. I always imagine this guy http://imgur.com/f4orN.jpg [imgur.com] steaming from his ears and furiously typing anti-ms FUD.

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183348)

Google is an innovative technology company that uses evil widely, cares nothing about privacy, and is a whore for ads and marketing. Please do not believe that Google is any less evil than a company like Microsoft.

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (1)

Imrik (148191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183320)

The searchers will still be unable to visit most of the links returned by the English search, the only real difference would be that you could read the summaries.

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (1)

gnud (934243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183394)

Does bing have a text cache like google?

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183500)

By contrast, Google censors everything in China, regardless of the language used for the query.

Untrue. google.cn censors every language. google.com is not blocked in china but still shows unfiltered results.

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (1)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183502)

That isn't what this [slashdot.org] commenter had to say.

Re:The NYT reporter misses the forest for the tree (2, Interesting)

hengdi (1202709) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183702)

By contrast, Google censors everything in China, regardless of the language used for the query.

Not true. I live in China, and can easily find info on Tiananmen square, I just have to use google.com and not google.cn.

Microsoft has become as evil as Google? (5, Funny)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183204)

Gasp!

Once we're boycotting all the search engines that have caved into to the demands of the Chinese government, what search engines are left?

Re:Microsoft has become as evil as Google? (3, Interesting)

AnotherUsername (966110) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183380)

While I realize that this is very ideological of myself, but why don't the various search engines just tell China to fuck off? I mean, why does the rest of the world put up with China's bullshit? Whether it is economic warfare on the rest of the world by artificially devaluing its currency, to their lack of basic human rights, to the fact that without a basic freedom to read opposing views, nothing is due to change anytime in the near future, China is a problem to everyone else.

By the way, I do realize that one of the main reasons that the search engines are not telling China to fuck off is pure and simple: money. There is a lot of ad revenue to be had by companies like Google and Bing.

Re:Microsoft has become as evil as Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183406)

Has Jeeves also kowtowed to the Chinese government?

Re:Microsoft has become as evil as Google? (2, Interesting)

BhaKi (1316335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183408)

Once we're boycotting all the search engines that have caved into to the demands of the Chinese government, what search engines are left?

If you think that very few search engines would be left, then there's a better strategy for you: Instead of boycotting search engines, boycott Chinese products. That's what your government wants to achieve by flooding media with anti-China news. The sooner you boycott Chinese products, the sooner I get back a shit-free Slashdot. Oh, wait! What have I been thinking? After boycotting Chinese products, there will be news flood about some other country.

And join the Amish? (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183828)

boycott Chinese products

The United States has outsourced so much of its manufacturing to Chinese firms that in 2009, the Amish are almost the only group who can pull off a boycott of products made in China.

hmmmm (5, Funny)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183206)

I have been self censoring my bing english language querys.

Lets google in simplefied chinese.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183214)

Let's see how google does in simplified chinese:
http://images.google.com/images?q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%E5%B9%BF%E5%9C%BA
look quite different from
http://images.google.com/images?q=tiananmen+square

The evil bastards at bing also censored google ?

c0m (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183226)

Anyone That thinks in eternity...Romeo

Google in simplified chinese... (1)

TheLuggs (1683336) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183242)

if you google in simplified chineseyou get: http://images.google.com/images?q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%E5%B9%BF%E5%9C%BA [google.com] which looks quite different from http://images.google.com/images?q=tiananmen+square [google.com] the evil bastards at microsoft are censoring google....

Re:Google in simplified chinese... (1)

auntieNeo (1605623) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183290)

I'm guessing Google censors the images by default because there aren't many Chinese language websites that actually display the controversial images, so Google doesn't associate the images with the Chinese text very well. This is just a guess, but might even explain why Bing seems to censor this. It's an unfortunate side effect of the way search engines work I suppose.

Re:Google in simplified chinese... (1)

TheLuggs (1683336) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183322)

More or less my point, well actually kutz's point, but with bing the author calls it censorship. but the author finds it shocking that a marketing drone calls something he didnt expect a bug, and the same issue is later called inherit behaviour. So why did the guy say in june is was a bug.. probably because he didnt know any better.

But never let logic get in the way of a good witch hunt.

boycott link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183266)

Am I the only one which finds it hilarious that in an article named "Boycott Microsoft Bing", there is a clickable link to Bing... and if you consider that it's not very often that you actually search for a new search engine... this might be one of the few cases when you get in contact with Bing at all... so if anything it will probably have the reverse effect.

Google maps and satellit images do not match at TS (4, Interesting)

j-beda (85386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183282)

Re:Google maps and satellit images do not match at (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183362)

The photo is right; the maps are off. It's like that all over Beijing (possibly other parts of China too, I guess) on maps.google.com and Google Earth, but ditu.google.cn (the Chinese version) is fine.

Re:Google maps and satellit images do not match at (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183446)

Don't you get it? Anyone who wants to visit Tiananmen Square is being sent to the Ministry of Public Security for...reeducation.

Re:Google maps and satellit images do not match at (1)

TheLuggs (1683336) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183546)

The Search for tianemen square did point to tianemen square on the map, and did not point to tainemen square on the satelite images. Logic dictates that the maps are correct and the satelite images are misaligned.

Facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183314)

Tiananmen actually is a rather lovely place to visit...

just don't talk about it ! (1)

mr_musan (1075927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183376)

I don't want /. to get banned as well though its so odd they haven't banned bcc yet ??? these chinese people are odd on this

Google still the best option for Chinese people (3, Informative)

seshomaru samma (1683366) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183396)

In China you can easily switch to google.com and get the same results as the rest if the world. You can search google.com in Chinese. Bing does not allow you this luxury if you are from China. It switches to English and changes the background picture but gives you the same Chinese government results if it knows your IP is from China. BTW- Chinese people know about Tiananmen They have satellite dishes with Taiwanese channels that spend 50% of their air time criticizing the mainland (the other 50% is sex and celebrities)

That's an interesting way of doing it... (1)

Hillbert (935900) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183474)

Doesn't this mean that anyone in China who speaks, say, English or Russian could get around the censorship just by searching Bing in their other language? And I suppose this also prevents Chinese people from using a proxy to search Bing, if anything in simplified Chinese is being censored regardless of IP location?

Re:That's an interesting way of doing it... (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183552)


Yes, that is correct. Anyone searching Bing in China using English or Russian (in your example) would get the same search results as you or I searching in English or Russian. That's not a loophole, Bing isn't actually censoring anything apparently. It merely returns results preferentially in the same language you search in. And simplified Chinese is pretty much a mainland China thing where, unsurprisingly, there aren't a lot of websites talking about protests or being positive about Falun Gong. The author of TFA comes across as having quite an agenda, imo.

Modern times (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183482)

In communist China, the internet censors YOU

Censorship is wrong. (0, Flamebait)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183498)

This is the internet. Censorship is wrong. Stop being a fucking child microsoft, and start being a human being. Hell, children have a better sense of freedom than you. Just google the kid that refuses to pledge allegiance to the flag in his elementary school, and his reasons why...

Microsoft... BE AN AMERICAN COMPANY, OR GET THE FUCK OUT.

Re:Censorship is wrong. (1)

jellyfrog (1645619) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183792)

This is the internet. Censorship is wrong. Stop being a fucking child microsoft, and start being a human being.

If Microsoft was a human being, I'd hate to imagine what he would look like. (A terrorist? A lawyer? I don't know which is more likely)

Compare to google's simplified chinese search (1)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183562)

For "tiananmen square" http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=%E5%A4%A9%E5%AE%89%E9%97%A8%E5%B9%BF%E5%9C%BA&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi [google.com] Apparently, nothing to see here (apart from the parades of the glorious People's Liberation Army). (disclaimer: I used google translate)

Is it legal? (1, Interesting)

pmontra (738736) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183650)

Can they censor queries made by American citizens using a simplified chinese keyboard in the USA?

Re:Is it legal? (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183898)

That would problably be an excellent ground to start challenging these policies. Since many of these censorship results are visible in many countries, all kinds of people can mount a legal challenge against Chinese censorship from home. Plus, all the media and legal content abount censorship in china will have to be censored in china. Slowly the whole internet will be censored...

And who are we to say no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183714)

And exactly who are we to say no to the new rulers of the economic world? Oh that's right, we still got some pride, honor, and values left from WWII
But yeah, no, we must obey to the Chinese overlords.

For Freedom Day (3, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183722)

I've been on the fence about listening to China, but no more. I conclude that the American idea of freedom, the American revolution, is an ongoing experiment and must apply everywhere in the world. We Americans by nature are assholes, so we may as well do something productive with it. We are obligated to participate, to be subversive to tyranny or even tendencies towards it, everywhere we go and we must be that way at home.

American companies operate because they are granted license to by the people of the united states as a whole.

At home, nor abroad, can we tolerate any government that violates any fundamental liberty. Even if we cannot agree on what fundamental liberties all, we must be dedicated to the idea that the more liberties that we uphold, the more we have. We forget that freedom is so sacred as of late, and we listen too much to those who would say that we have freedom too much.

I say that we say that for right now today is Freedom Day. Take a second to glance at the Constitution and understand that the government is allowed to do only what is on that little piece of paper and you are allowed to do everything else. Write whatever you want, go to a gun store, read something subversive, stop by a church, hang with some protestors, revel in the fact that you are free and can do things. Even as we bum out about how the west has gotten the short of the stick in manufacturing, we should be extremely cognizant that we can do so many things our counterparts in China and other parts Asia cannot, I can take my made in Chinese flag and I can burn it.

Today is Freedom Day, and so is every day. Remind yourself that you are free.

Re:For Freedom Day (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183890)

As assholes, Americans should be very careful of all the people out there that are dicks.

Best /. quote ever (1)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183948)

We Americans by nature are assholes, so we may as well do something productive with it.

Yes, let's put the "fun" back in "dysfunctional". :)

"Tibet oppression Han" -- simplified chars (4, Informative)

John Guilt (464909) | more than 4 years ago | (#30183782)

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=%E8%A5%BF%E8%97%8F%E6%8A%91%E5%88%B6%E9%9F%A9&aq=f&aqi=&oq=&fp=5b7cf21b103219ea [google.com] ...returns >1.4M results http://www.bing.com/search?q=%E8%A5%BF%E8%97%8F%E6%8A%91%E5%88%B6%E9%9F%A9&go=&form=QBLH&qs=n [bing.com] ...returns Sweet Fanny Adams Yes, the Chinese Google site is as bad, but at least a Chinese user can potentially hit an external Google site with one tunnel/proxy or another. (Note: I'm not a terrible bigot, though I'm probably as bigoted as average: I do not blame all Han Chinese for the oppression of the Tibetan people, and of course there are some Han willing to risk extreme punishment to help them; however, one of the ways Tibetans are being oppressed is by the massive settlement of the country by Han Chinese, and beside I wanted as inflammatory a non-obscene word-set as I could for the experiment.)

Chinese Censorship != Attempt to Rewrite History (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30183928)

Have you ever done something wrong and then not wanted to talk about it? If you have, you know that avoiding the subject doesn't make it go away, but hey, at least it means you don't have to keep on confronting the it. In fact, as you may have seen it, ignoring your lapse may have allowed you to maintain a sufficient level of self-respect so that one day you could become a better person. It's always good to staying positive, right?

So what is the Chinese censorship of 64? At its core it is nothing more than a government-dictated instance of the above coping mechanism. Why is this important to know? Because unfortunately too many Westerners believe that its censorship has instead been some delusional attempt to rewrite history. If you're one of them, please, listen up. The Chinese do not want to rewrite history -- it's just that the wound is still too fresh for them to talk about it. Give them about 50 years and the discourse will change.

Also, please stop thinking that the government censorship is in someway actually preventing Chinese people themselves from knowing about 64. Oh sure, maybe you have a friend who told you that when they asked a mainlander about Tiananmen, they didn't seem to know anything except for how it's a good place for tourism. But do you want to know the real truth? Chinese people carry shame strongly (as do many other people), and the actual reason that person acted ignorant is because they just don't want to talk about it with your arrogant foreign ass. Sorry, they just don't. Imagine if tourists just kept on bugging Americans about slavery or the War in Iraq? The first couple times you may say something, but after a while, it'd just boil down to "whatever, are you going to buy the cap with the flag on it or what?".

So are we Americans any different? Ask us at a good time about the awful choices our nation has made, and the response you'll most often hear is, "that was the government's decision, not my own". From the sounds of it, maybe our choice of coping mechanism is different, but when it comes down to it our inability to attest to our own failures gleams threw just the same.

Point is, please stop picking on the Chinese. Let them as a modern nation continue to mature and prosper. They have come so far despite their numerous failures, and deserve our respect and at least a minor attempt at genuine understanding.

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