Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Censoring Blogs on MSN China

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-a-surprise-folks dept.

Microsoft 316

jdfox writes "The BBC is reporting that Microsoft is censoring blogs on MSN China. The words 'freedom', 'democracy' and 'demonstration' are reportedly among the words being blocked. But the article also points out that Microsoft is not the first corporation to censor content when the Chinese government requests it." Slashdot covered this story a few days ago too.

cancel ×

316 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Dupe...with a twist. (5, Informative)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812047)


This story is a dupe....reported previously as "Microsoft Bans 'Democracy' for China's Web Users" [slashdot.org] on Saturday, June 11th.

Dupes are nothing new here, but the following is what really boggles me...

From TFS:


Slashdot covered this story a few days ago [slashdot.org] too.


Um...OK...if you know it's a dupe, why is it still being re-reported?

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812083)

Because Taco thinks it's funny to annoy people like you with dupes... I think that's why he does dupes...

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812151)

Because Taco thinks it's funny to annoy people like you with dupes... I think that's why he does dupes..

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (2, Insightful)

fourtyfive (862341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812109)

Well I'm assuming it would be because in the first one they were talking about the MSN site, and this one they're talking about Blogs hosted by MSN.

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (-1, Offtopic)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812141)


That's what I thought at first, but no luck. Both articles are about Microsoft censoring its blog service, MSN Spaces.

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812270)

Congrats, you have a stalker.

Oh well, we'll have to catch it in MM.

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (-1, Redundant)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812112)

Here's what it REALLY means (in case you didn't get the memo):
Welcome to your new slashdot tripe, oops, triple news service.

Not being content with being the number one in offering news dupes, we now bring you *news triples*.

This will enable everyone who missed the dupe to be able to flame on.

This is a special slashdot editors' choice service, in honour of Troll Tuesdays.

Will it be successful? Only time will tell.

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (-1, Offtopic)

lemnik (835774) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812118)

I didn't see it the first time round... I'm sure there are a few out there like me.

Then again... I kinda agree... if it's a dupe, I don't really see a compelling reason to re-report it (or re-re-report it)

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (-1, Offtopic)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812121)

Slashdot recently conducted a research in which they discovered that apparently slashdotters are gaining the ability of a shorter attention span. Now Slashdot being a concerned community service decides from time to time to revisit old stories that fellow slashdotters might have forgotten or overlooked...

Moral of the story - Get a fuckin job! and stop reloading

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (-1, Redundant)

metlin (258108) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812184)

Originally, that was not part of the story (I'm a subscriber, so I had a preview).

I'm guessing that someone probably mailed Taco and told him this was a dupe, at which point, he decided to add the extra line.

Why did he do that rather than remove the story altogether? Who knows.

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812193)

Well, I for one, did not see the weekend article.
They did it for me, OK?

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (3, Interesting)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812200)

Um...OK...if you know it's a dupe, why is it still being re-reported?

What on earth makes you believe the Slashdot editors think dupes are a bad thing?

Re:Dupe...with a twist. (1, Funny)

mischalla (246688) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812267)

In related news:
Slashdot begins to censore words and phrases too.
'dupe', 'first post' and 'in soviet russia...' are of limits now.

Because Taco & Co. are mindless zealots (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812371)

If China bought the services of Red Hat for the same purposes you'll NEVER see it on Slashdot.

so... LETS DEBATE! (-1, Flamebait)

alexandreracine (859693) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812072)

So... tell me.... why are they doing this?

Why do they censor these words? Why the governement does that?

Is there some people from china who can tell us the situation there?

Re:so... LETS DEBATE! (1)

rovingeyes (575063) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812209)

You are asking why? Are you serious? In this information age, you don't know why govt. controls the media?

Oh wait...welcome to earth ;)

Re:so... LETS DEBATE! (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812536)

" You are asking why? Are you serious? In this information age, you don't know why govt. controls the media?"

This reminds me of an interview I heard with a Soviet era Russian general. The interviewer asked some question about how all the Russian people were brainwashed by government propaganda. The general laughed and said "That is the difference between Americans and Russians. Our government publishes propaganda and we say 'Look, it is government propaganda.' Your government publishes propaganda and you believe it."

Re:so... LETS DEBATE! (1)

Pofy (471469) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812646)

>Why do they censor these words? Why the
>governement does that?

Because they found out that as long as they add "to combat terrorism", they can get away doing anything....

l33t l00ph0le? (5, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812076)

"The words 'freedom', 'democracy' and 'demonstration' "

Yes, but what of fr33d0m, d3m0cracy, and dem0nstrat1on?

Re:l33t l00ph0le? (0)

5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812218)

Th1s 1s ex4ctly why this 4ggress1on will not stand, man.

(see my username for an extra chuckle)

Re:l33t l00ph0le? (4, Interesting)

ccharles (799761) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812271)

Yes, but what of fr33d0m, d3m0cracy, and dem0nstrat1on?
IIRC this is where 13375p34k came from in the first place. It was invented to avoid content filters on BBSes.

1n the 1mmort4l w0rds of The D00d (1)

5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812308)

Th1s 1s ex4ctly why this 4ggress1on will not stand, m4n.

If they had any morality... (5, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812081)

..they'd simply pull out of the Chinese market.
But whats human rights and freedom when theres
market share and online presence at stake. Right?

Re:If they had any morality... (1)

pdpTrojan (454023) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812116)

Right! Also, all the open source licenses should exclude China from using their software as well!!! (Please note my sarcasm.)

Re:If they had any morality... (4, Interesting)

space_dude_27 (838047) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812227)

Well exactly - they have the choice of either compling with the Chinese govt's wishes and censoring content that the regime doesn't like or giving up a potentially very lucrative market to their competitors. Would Microsoft do that? It appears not.

The thing that really worries me about all this is that if the Chinese govt is in a position to make demands like this on a company as a price for doing businss in China then in the future they may be in a position to make greater demands, ones that affect folks in other countries directly.

Re:If they had any morality... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812316)

Get serious. When in Rome. If they want their presence known they will play by the rules. If the Chinese people want to post on censorship free blogs they can tunnel out and use any of the ones located elsewhere.

Microsoft doesn't need to be involved in politics anywhere.

Re:If they had any morality... (2, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812329)

Ok, let us run with tha.

MS is not a moral being, the laws of the country define acceptable behaviour so :

If your govt. had any morality then it would cease trading with the Chinese

but the will of the people isn't in favour of that trade barrier so :

If you had any morality then you would cease trading with your govt.

try that one and you'll see how much *your* human rights are respected

Re:If they had any morality... (2, Informative)

pete6677 (681676) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812352)

There's a lot of money to be made from the billions of people in China. That is why companies will be kissing the ass of the Chinese government if need be. Business decisions are mostly a matter of money, and it looks like it makes financial sense to do business in China, even with the laws the way they are.

Think of it this way: would it be better for Microsoft to simply shut down MSN China, and for other companies to do the same with their Chinese operations, and leave the Chinese people with no voice of expression as opposed to a limited one?

Re:If they had any morality... (1)

Soybean47 (885009) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812356)

Yes, if you can't offer these people 100% freedom of expression, then obviously it's immoral to allow them any avenues for expression at all.

Seriously, how would Microsoft pulling out of the Chinese market help Chinese people? As it is now, they can blog, though there are several words they can't use (and presumably ideas that it would be unwise for them to express). But, given that that is the general situation in their country, don't you think that that's better than not being able to blog at all?

I never really expected to find myself defending MSN blogs, but it just seems to me like it's better than the alternative.

Right On! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812481)

Google would never do anything like this!

If you had any morality... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812517)

...you wouldn't support companies who do business with China. If you had any morality, you'd be dead.

What about... (3, Informative)

American In Berlin (892009) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812111)

The words 'freedom', 'democracy' and 'demonstration' are reportedly among the words being blocked.

What about 'linux', 'google' and 'apple'?

Re:What about... (1)

fourtyfive (862341) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812149)

The funny thing is they _USED_ to filter "linux" on their search engine. I remember when Linux would return like 500 results while windows would return several million.

OB Simpsons (5, Funny)

PaxTech (103481) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812117)

"On this site in 1989, nothing happened." - Tianenmen Square plaque

What Else (0)

ArchAngel21x (678202) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812119)

I wonder what other words they will censor....Linux...Open source.....

Dupedydubdub (-1, Redundant)

Amouth (879122) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812124)

Sorry had to.. this is kinda new .. the fact that it effects blogs BUT .. this will be the third rendition.... and if there are other compines doing it.. mabey make one artical about them all.. personaly i have given up.. i mean even the US censors stuff even though they say they don't.. (which is BS) so i jsut ignor them

Re:Dupedydubdub (1)

PaxTech (103481) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812171)

i mean even the US censors stuff even though they say they don't..

If the US Government censored people talking shit about it, this very website would have been shut down years ago.

Reminds me of the people marching with signs reading "BUSH = HITLER". The very fact they can march in public holding that sign and nothing happens to them proves that it isn't true.

proof (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812299)

They wanted to proof he is not!

Re:Dupedydubdub (1, Funny)

oneandoneis2 (777721) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812324)

Reminds me of the people marching with signs reading "BUSH = HITLER". The very fact they can march in public holding that sign and nothing happens to them proves that it isn't true.

Ah, but how do you know that they weren't dragged away and shot the moment they were off-camera? ;o)

Re:Dupedydubdub (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812402)

perhaps the cops parsed it as an assignment ergo the people WANT Bush == Hitler

Re:Dupedydubdub (1)

krgallagher (743575) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812448)

"If the US Government censored people talking shit about it, this very website would have been shut down years ago."

Sure, but if it started accurately describing in detail the security systems at the white house it would be a different matter. This country has a long history of censorship in the name of civil defense. After all, "Lose lips sink ships!"

Re:Dupedydubdub (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812491)

you mean like how they didn't censor that reporter who was subsequently fired for breaking that story on the quran in guantanimo bay, that was later verified by the FBI as true?

I wonder why the surprice... (0)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812126)

Corps like that do nothing other than karma whoring with nasty governments...

Re:I wonder why the surprice... (1)

gordo3000 (785698) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812240)

and when you say corps like that you do mean every government in business in the world, or at least a vast, vast majority of all economic players.

its not a corps like that thing. its every corporation in the world type of thing.

Re:I wonder why the surprice... (1)

AtlanticGiraffe (749719) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812526)

Why are people (and headlines) are blaming it all on the corporations? It's not like they have any choice, even if they're Microsoft. In China, don't even dream about doing any business of any kind without kissing some royal government A$$. On the bright side, a good kisser can become extremely wealthy. Our president (Iceland) recently went over there with a few businessmen to visit their president and did billions' worth of plugging. You wouldn't believe the headlines we're seeing about Icelanders doing good business in China.

Oh come on (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812131)

This is just part of the ongoing propaganda to make the Chinese government look corrupt in a way above and beyond Western governments in the eyes of people reading about this.

With a proper, though perhaps dehabilitatingly sad perspective, you can see that corruption is everywhere: not just with those people whom most of us really know nothing about.

The same is true with the way Islam is portrayed, the same is true with North Korea, Cuba, the same is true with anything that has the irresponsibility to think differently from ourselves.

One has to wonder.... (1)

kent, knower of all (47897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812142)

.... just how intelligent the screening process really is.

f ^hr ^he ^h e ^hd ^ho ^hm

gives a good ASCII rendition of "freedom". And of course, there are many, many ways to display text without actually sending the text.

SELECT * FROM USERS WHERE CLUE > 0
0 rows selected

What do you expect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812147)

from a company that is all about the money? There is no way that MS does not somehow benefit from this. Methinks that MS appealed to the Chinese government along these lines:

MS: Chinese governement, we will help you block dissident-speak on our Chineses portal (and report the offenders) if you will pimp our products to your agencies and large businesses.

CG: OK, sounds great.

Re:What do you expect... (2, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812599)

Um .. hate to burst your bubble, but *all* companies are about money.

There is no moral compunction for companies to do anything. As can be seen with all sorts of disasters in the past wehere companies have done stuff which was damaging to people/environment/markets/[insert favourite disaster] but to their own profit. Companies are only compelled to do things against their bottom dollar by two main things:

1) People voting with their wallets (but if you don't know what bad practices they have in their closets, how do you know how to vote that way?)

2) Government regulation. ie laws, legislastion etc (But what do you do when the comapny is in bed with the legislators?)

First it's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812153)

First it's V14ggra and Phaermaecea, next it's fr3edomme and D3nnocraccy.

foolish dupe (-1, Offtopic)

phloydphreak (691922) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812161)

I mean, seriously, if you are going to do a real dupe, have msn filtering all of such words from all websites(read slashdot), not simply blogs. This is silly.

So? (5, Insightful)

failure-man (870605) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812162)

Yeah, that's pretty shitty, but I wouldn't say it's Microsoft's fault. If they want to do business in China they have to comply with Chinese law. Chinese law's kinda oppressive. News at 11.

Re:So? (1)

DenDave (700621) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812326)

Chinese law forbids these terms? Funny, I recently reviewed their constitution, pity it's illegal now...

The law doesn't forbid the terms, the Politburo does. A bunch of grey old commies who don't know that China is charging straight for the 21st century, whether they like it or not.

Re:So? (1)

goodviking (71533) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812447)

I see, so your moral argument is "it's ok as long as were making money at it"? That's really nice. Maybe we can make some money selling crack to baby's, I hear there's a market.

Re:So? (1)

sveskemus (833838) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812514)

I see, so your moral argument is "it's ok as long as were making money at it"? That's really nice. Maybe we can make some money selling crack to baby's, I hear there's a market.

I actually don't think there's a very large market for crack for babies. I mean, what parent in their right mind lets their baby smoke crack? And not many babies have money of their own to spend on crack.

I'm just saying, that's all...

Re:So? (1)

failure-man (870605) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812545)

Moral arguments don't play in. Capitalism is amoral by nature and the people involved are, for the most part, nothing more than components of the system.

A corporation exists to make money, and it will do anything to achieve that goal unless someone or something forces restraint. The law won't. Do you think the Microsoft brass will?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812459)

> Yeah, that's pretty shitty, but I wouldn't say
> it's Microsoft's fault. If they want to do
> business in China [snip]

So why do they want to do business in China?
If they had any morals they wouldn't want to.

Re:So? (1)

cat6509 (887285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812476)

"Yeah, that's pretty shitty, but I wouldn't say it's Microsoft's fault. If they want to do business in China they have to comply with Chinese law. Chinese law's kinda oppressive. News at 11." Yeah, screw ethics! forget about your fellow human being, I mean you lucked out on you were born, too bad for them. reminds me of the "In Order For Evil To Triumph, Good People Do Nothing" quote. Take a look at http://english.epochtimes.com/news/5-1-7/25560.htm l [epochtimes.com] It isn't just Microsoft, it is anyone willing to make a buck, Cisco, Network Associates, Trend Micro, Nortel etc. A quote from the above link "...This is a black market. It's a black market where state-of-the-art equipment is being sold to the Communist Party. Cisco is no longer assisting the censorship of the Chinese web. They're actually assisting the round up of Chinese dissidents of all manner and stripe. Internet dissidents are the fasting growing group of political prisoners in China."

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

thelexx (237096) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812555)

You see, there is this thing called ETHICS:

In a statement RSF (Reporters Sans Frontiers) said: "The lack of ethics on the part of [Microsoft] is extremely worrying. Their management frequently justifies collaboration with Chinese censorship by saying that all they are doing is obeying local legislation.

"Does that mean that if the authorities asked Microsoft to provide information about Chinese cyberdissidents using its services that it would agree to do so, on the basis that it is 'legal'?

"We believe that this argument does not hold water and that these multinationals must respect certain basic ethical principles, in whatever country they are operating," it said.

Yeah, blame microsoft. (3, Funny)

theNote (319197) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812206)

Wow, so Microsoft is responsible for the lack of human rights in China? But China is awesome right? I mean, they use linux, how can they be bad?

I bet they only use linux for the good stuff, and then they switch over to a MS box when they need to do some oppressing.

Re:Yeah, blame microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812312)

Indeed, can we blame Net Nanny [amazon.co.uk] and the like for our children's lack of knowledge about sex, the human body, and the Arsenal football club [arsenal.com] ?

Re:Yeah, blame microsoft. (1)

revscat (35618) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812450)

Wow, so Microsoft is responsible for the lack of human rights in China? But China is awesome right? I mean, they use linux, how can they be bad?

Are you completely fucking stupid? MS is a player in a system, and their actions are helping to make the perpetuation and expansion of that system possible. Are they the ONLY player? Duh, no. Are they still cozying up to a totalitarian state? Yuppers.

Any business that actively provides support to that system should be vilified, whether it is Wal-Mart, Nike, or freakin' Google.

Re:Yeah, blame microsoft. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812496)

This isn't funny. It's a fucking troll.

If there was any doubt about Money being King.... (-1, Flamebait)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812237)

...it's gone.

Even with tens of billions in the bank, Microsoft is unwilling to do the right thing and say FU to China.

I actually find this more distasteful than Microsoft being a monopolist.

Deja (-1, Redundant)

jjleard (575385) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812241)

Is this some type of recursion test?

How does the conversation go? (1)

boatboy (549643) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812274)

Could someone in the know explain how this happens from a business perspective? What are the benefits to Microsoft and others for complying, or the results of not complying? Is it even an option for them to say 'no thanks, we'd like to leave these words in.'?

Re:How does the conversation go? (1)

Edmund Blackadder (559735) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812342)

If they dont comply all MSN sites may get censored by China wholesale. Or if the Chinese are REALLY pissed they can just ignore all of Ms's copyrights in China.

Re:How does the conversation go? (1)

master0ne (655374) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812567)

like they dont ignore all copyrights asis now? mean you can pick up a copy of xp pro on a street corner for about $5(USD) along with any other new movies just hitting theatres here in america. And i cannot imagin how much money MS must be making from their chineese blogs and other online services. considering there free for public use (asin ad supported) basicaly as a extension of windows (read - value add) or so they claim, then why do they not just put up a big american flag and tell china to fuck off? oh yeah thats right, Billy G's a fuckin communist (only when it comes to morals though)

Tiananmen Squareoff (1)

Stevix (861756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812294)

We are simply talking about a company here, which will always be forced to follow the laws of the land of whatever country it choses to operate in. If there was a country that had legal child porn and a company that peddled it wanted to operate in your country, you can be damn sure you wouldn't want them to have that content.
Obviously the situation is based around what we determine are more timid, yet important examples of free speech censorship, but we are talking about a foreign country with international rights. It is not Microsoft's place to spark a rights battle with a sovern country, and they damn sure will chose to continue operations in China.

If you have a problem with China's free speech laws, well... call em up and tell em or something...

Re:Tiananmen Squareoff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812411)

All laws are not equal, and just because a bunch of people form together as a corporation to get the various legal benefits, doesn't mean that the rules of morality suddenly don't apply.

Of course these censorship laws are the laws of a powerful soveriegn nation. If they were the laws of a Masonic Lodge or D&D Group we wouldn't give a shit. The point is, MS is not on our side when it comes to the conflict between the dictates of a small pack of 90 year old mass murders and the human progress of a billion people.

Re:Tiananmen Squareoff (1)

Stevix (861756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812608)

So long as these morals you speak of are not imbedded into the trade laws of your country, how can you expect a formation designed to generate profits (read: Microsoft corporation) to be more morally rightous then the laws of your representative government. If this activity angers you, dont go shouting at microsoft, maybe you should parcipitate in that human progress of yours.

It is sad that American Companies have decided ... (4, Insightful)

rben (542324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812335)

... that the dollar is more important than freedom or principles.

I guess it shouldn't be any surprise the Microsoft and other companies are anxious to help China maintain and strengthen it's totalitarian government, since it's the government that controls the purse strings.

It should give all of us in this country pause. Microsoft obviously has no issues with a government that has it's army fire upon students demonstrating for democracy. It's a short step from there to helping an American administration (of whichever party) do the same thing in this country. Considering how much money Microsoft was saved by the hand slap it got from Justice after being convicted of monopolistic practices, I would assume Bill Gates feels deeply indebted to the present administration.

Apparently, even Google, a company that claims it's unofficial motto is "Dont' Be Evil", doesn't feel like it has a responsibility to behave ethically.

It wasn't defense spending in the U.S. that caused the fall of Communisim in the USSR, it was blue jeans and walkmans -- simple economics. It became glaringly obvious to everyone in communist states that they were being deprived the advances that were cheap to citizens of democratic countries.

The Chinese have never been stupid or foolish. They learned from the lesson of the USSR and they are modernizing their economy in order to prevent a similar revolution. It is unfortunate that companies like Microsoft, Google, and Walmart are so quick to help them.

China is still a totalitarian government. China allows the use of slave and prison labor to produce goods which show up on American store shelves. Ever wonder why goods made in China are so inexpensive?

The American government and businesses are not just hurting the Chinese people by helping such a government; they are hurting American citizens. We are losing jobs. We are becoming a nation that produces nothing but Reality TV shows. Worse the lesson to our children is that freedom only counts until someone offers you more money.

These companies argue that by doing business with China, they are improving the lives of ordinary Chinese. How can we trust them? There have been numerous stories about the use of prison labor and child labor to produce goods bound for America. Can they really know that they are helping the average Chinese when China does not have a free press that can report how things actually are? I sincerely doubt that the workers in China are getting the same wages and benefits that American workers would get. I wonder if they are even getting enough more to substantially change their lives.

If you are going to stand for freedom, you have to do it all the time, not just when it's financially attractive.

Re:It is sad that American Companies have decided (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812483)

W...T...F?

How do you go from Microsoft turning a blind eye to a Chinese government who is oppressive, brutal, and evil to saying that we're next up for such a regime in the US. Either you are a complete idiot or you believe the anti-US drivel that spews out on /. in every thread.

Re:It is sad that American Companies have decided (1)

Stevix (861756) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812511)

If you are going to stand for freedom, you have to do it all the time, not just when it's financially attractive.
Why? i want the freedom to make as much money as possible unhindered. are you trying to limit my freedom to do so? seriously the thing with freedom is that open-ended overarcing freedom will always anger someone. you say i shouldnt have the freedom to invest in foreign countries you find questionable. So right there you are advocating restrictions based on your personal views.

Re:It is sad that American Companies have decided (2, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812528)

it took this to shed light on that for you? No offense but I see THAT as sad. If you haven't figured it out now, the major corporations in America do everything in their power to limit our rights in our own country. Whatever it takes to make more money, that's always been their motto.

Re:It is sad that American Companies have decided (2, Interesting)

Ronald Dumsfeld (723277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812571)

[It is sad that American Companies have decided ...]... that the dollar is more important than freedom or principles.
If you think there's many examples of where American companies have thought freedom or principles were more important than money, you're being naive. Examples [rationalrevolution.net] of what we might consider far worse can easily be found through history.

As it is, people in China will find ways round the censorship, but the Tiananmen Square protests pointed out to their government that they need to improve the standard of living. Enough so that their people will be as disinterested in the governance of their country as those in many western democracies.

That's why I'm disgusted that Microsoft is eagerly cooperating with their censorship.

Next up... (1, Flamebait)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812336)

Next up, US government asks slashdot to censor the words "patriot act", "national ID", and "revolution". Please understand this is for your own protection, as our government has strictly the people's interersts in mind.

Re:Next up... (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812520)

"Next up, US government asks slashdot to censor the words "patriot act", "national ID", and "revolution".

Actually, the request to censor the last word came from Nintendo's competitors. Sorry about that!

Censor (0)

whitepony02027 (789363) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812341)

So i can't find freedom or democracy on the web ,but can i still get my porn? because thats where i draw the line

Would this "fool" the system? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812348)

If I wrote "Dem0cr@cy" and "Freed0m" instead of "Democracy" and "Freedom", would that fool the system?

I have a feeling that any success with that would be caught by M$ pretty fast!

Note: Those letters in "Dem0cr@cy" and "Freed0m" are zeros and not an "o".

Re:Would this "fool" the system? (1)

kaje103 (828985) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812415)



"Note: Those letters in "Dem0cr@cy" and "Freed0m" are zeros and not an "o"."


Oh...you got us there.

Re:Would this "fool" the system? (1)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812611)

don't you think Chinese bloggers would blog in Chinese? unless they pheonetically substitute for the words, they can't "l33t" spell those words since Chinese letters aren't alphabets.

Press Releases Take on a New Meaning (0, Flamebait)

BishonenAngstMagnet (797469) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812370)

Enjoy the freedomopression, use WindowsXP today!

They Should be Taken Out and Shot (2)

the0ther (720331) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812379)

Seriously, this should be viewed as a really really awful thing on the part of MS. Isolate those effing ChiComs until they're ready to live up to the same standards of freedom as the nations of the civilized world.

Visual Studio .NET ad sponsors MS Censorship post (1)

MCRocker (461060) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812390)

I know that the advertisements on everyone sees after the main article text are not always the same, but when I first looked at this article, I saw a big Visual Studio .NET advertisement from Microsoft.

So, is it very enlightened of Microsoft to sponsor an article that implies their own misconduct, or will the ad be pulled when they figure it out?

Re:Visual Studio .NET ad sponsors MS Censorship po (1)

fuyu-no-neko (839858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812594)

If I understand the Google advertising system correctly, advertisers (such as Microsoft) just state how much they're willing to spend on the advertising, whilst some Google code looks at the content of a page which has signed up for advertising and decides which ads would be most suitable.
In this case, we have a webpage which is talking about Microsoft, so Google's code has probably determined that it would be a good place for a Microsoft advert.

I'm in love for the first time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812391)

No one cares. Go report on something that actually matters.

Not surprised (1)

Coopjust (872796) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812393)

The chineese government knows that microsoft will do anything reasonable to avoid offending it. By the way, freedom is Z©--R, and democracy is -Zå.

Take Bill Gates . . . (-1, Flamebait)

vegetablespork (575101) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812454)

. . . to The Hague in chains. Try him for crimes against humanity, convict him, and hang him high as a deterrent for other corporate officers responsibile for aiding and abetting oppression in China. While they're at it, there should be gallows for the executives at Cisco who authorized the Great Firewall work.

What's a Fink to Do? (1)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812455)

Microsoft is censoring blogs on MSN China. The words 'freedom', 'democracy' and 'demonstration' are reportedly among the words being blocked.

This is bad news for an oppressive regime. How are finks, spooks, and informers supposed to do their dirty business if they can't:

A. Praise Democracy, in order to entrap dissidents;

B. Condemn Democracy, in order to rally more finks, spooks, and informers?

-kgj

Chinese sound Nazis (2, Insightful)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812472)

Blocking information in this century is really a grave mistake. We've finally reached a stage where the entire data is at our fingers - if Douglas Adams were alive, he'd say Earth has finally finished calculating the ultimate question. Why is a govt. afraid of it's online content? Sounds like those Nazi days of Germany when it was previleged to have uncensorsed information about the rest of the world. The Chinese need to do something.

Back in the day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12812494)

I worked as an office junior for a guy once who refused to buy branded web hosting once he found out about free sites - in this case MSN Spaces. The weblogs took about 2/3 of the time to setup and when they worked were pretty close to the quality of the original... when they worked. Between increased maintenance, broken freedom and destroyed democracy I can't see how the TCO was much less than double the price of GoDaddy.

WTF (1)

webzombie (262030) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812516)

Really?! M$ is censoring the Chinese?!

Amercians and most of the western world just don't seem to get it. If there is money to be made we shall turn a blind eye... but if there is political currency to be spent and oil to be had you must pound third-world countries into submission.

Sad thing is MOST Americans could give a rat's ass!

Keep on rockin' in the free world!

Again?? (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812548)

Didn't they learn there lesson yesterday?

distrib names (1)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812603)

Maybe some linux distrib could have free world names:

Debian democracy

Gentoo tiananmen square massacre

Mandriva voting rights

Fedora free speech

Hypocrites (2, Interesting)

thelexx (237096) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812604)

I'd bet money that half of you people who see nothing wrong with MS capitulating to the totalitarian desires of China bashed the shit out of IBM for it's activities during WWII.

Not Surprising (1)

ShoobieRat (829304) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812606)

I don't think this latest tid-bit should be shocking to anyone. The Chinese have been doing this since they were first discovered by other races.

The Chinese, for whatever reason, struggle greatly to maintain a strictly controlled identity and culture. It one way, you can understand this because they have a huge population spread out over a huge country that has many, many different countries bordering them, all trying to trade and interact with them. If there were no controls, China would become a giant meltingpot mess like the US, which no cultural identity and a fading pride. On the other hand, the Chinese people have so much to offer and so many wonderful things for the world to see and do and hear, but we will never get to because of the laws. It's a double-edged sword.

China (as well as many other countries held in the same government style) fails to see that this kind of control is like a clamp around an axel of a wheel. The clamp keeps the wheel in line, but if you clamp too hard, the wheel doesn't spin so easily and starts to have problems. You can still have the clamp, but just loosen it up a bit and the wheel spins nicely and stays in line.

I don't believe that, if these censorships were removed, the Chinese would go balistic. There's too much ingrained social structure. Those in power could still be in power, but with a little release, their country could bloom into a great thing. If you try to control everything, then you end up controlling nothing but the control itself. Everything else fades away. In essence, China is killing itself by trying to keep itself.

As for Microsoft, everyone trying to play the "There goes Microsoft again" card, just needs to shut up. When you deploy a company/product in another country, it is in no way unusual nor unexpected to conform to that country's beliefs and laws. If you have to change your product to make it sell, you do. If you make cars that drive on the left, and you sell to a country that drives on the right, you change your design for that country. If you sell to a country that doesn't allow a word to be in a product, you remove that word.

I think it's a good thing that Microsoft is not trying to start an ethtical/racial/political war here. They have altered their product for the Chinese market to conform with that market. This is not strange, this is not Microsoft unique.

If you're having a problem with the human-rights issues in China, Microsoft should not be your first step for a gripe.

MS Banking on Apathy (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812631)

Even if you like Microsoft's products, enjoy your XBox, don't care about their monopolistic practices, etc., this has got to make you cringe.

I don't think you'll find anyone who supports this. But I would assume Microsoft is banking on people not caring enough to do anything about it.

If only... (0, Offtopic)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 9 years ago | (#12812641)

If only /. editors would censor dupes. Sigh...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?