MSN Joins Google and Yahoo in Blocking Chinese Users from Accessing, Using Forbidden Terms and Content
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There’s a hue and cry being raised about Microsoft’s new MSN portal in China not allowing Chinese users to access or share certain “forbidden” sites and ideas on the Internet.

In particular, Chinese users of MSN’s blogging service, MSN Spaces, are forbidden from using certain terms in their blog entries, including “democracy”, “freedom”, “human rights”, “Taiwan independence” and “demonstration.”


In fact, Chinese bloggers who attempt to use those phrases in their MSN My Spaces blog entries are met with the warning “This item should not contain forbidden speech such as profanity. Please enter a different word for this item.”

Of course, this is not the only instance of an Internet portal giant yielding to China’s censorship demands. Reporters without Borders blasted Google last year for creating a special version of its Google News for China.

According to Reporters without Borders, “China is censoring Google News to force Internet users to use the Chinese version of the site which has been purged of the most critical news reports. By agreeing to launch a news service that excludes publications disliked by the government, Google has let itself be used by Beijing.”

Yahoo too has drawn the group’s ire. Reporters without Borders says that it “deplores the irresponsible policies of United States Internet firms Yahoo! and Google in bowing directly and indirectly to Chinese government demands for censorship.”

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Said MSN spokesperson Adam Sohn of the situation, “We’re in business in lots of countries. I think every time you go into a market you are faced with a different regulatory environment and you have to go make a choice as a business

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11 thoughts on “MSN Joins Google and Yahoo in Blocking Chinese Users from Accessing, Using Forbidden Terms and Content
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  1. Stock holders be danged! How can anyone even begin to think about putting profits first??

    This is the result of not caring about human rights, dude. Read it for yourself at the link at the end of the quoted excerpt:
    QUOTE ON
    ————-
    “A French media watchdog group claimed on Tuesday that Yahoo provided
    information that helped Chinese officials convict a journalist accused
    of leaking state secrets. Shi Tao, a 37-year-old writer for the Dangdai
    Shang Bao (Contemporary Business News), was sentenced in April to 10 years in
    prison, Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. He was convicted
    of sending to foreign Web sites a ‘top secret’ government message that had
    been sent to his newspaper. The international watchdog organization
    said recently translated court papers revealed that Yahoo Holdings in Hong
    Kong provided Chinese investigators with detailed information that helped
    them link Shi’s personal e-mail account and a specific message containing
    the ‘state secret’ to the IP address of his computer. The state secret was
    a message to Shi’s newspaper warning journalists of the dangers
    associated with dissidents returning to mark the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen
    Square massacre, according to the group.” Learn more at News.com.

    http://news.com.com/Group+says+Yahoo+helped+jail+Chinese+journalist/2100-1028_3-5851705.html?tag=nefd.top
    —————-
    QUOTE OFF

    Now, ain’t that a (w)itch!!

    babalus

  2. RE: Comment by babalus. Well I’m sure the stock-holders of your company would be really happy about losing millions of dollars so you could do “The right thing” while making quotes from history. MSN isn’t condoning or supporting China’s politics, they are working around the problem. And that isn’t “joining them” either, so your adages really don’t hold water….

  3. This is what humans do, that others may be treated humanely:

    “Critics Squeeze Cisco Over China ”

  4. And since 1974 we’ve been dealing with them, thanks to Nixon, and then Pres. Clinton made them a “most favorite nation” in trade permanently as well, yet the human rights abuses continue. So it’s OK now, for now we profit.

    The result was the Tienemen Square massacre, the drowning of the democratic movements in Hong Kong and now the hostile takeover of CONOCO. Never mind Tibet and the Falun Gong movement, or the limits on freedom of worship.

    Profits…, we’re bound to take them to our grave, I’m sure. Our estate will write a check made out to us so that only we can cash it, lest someone may try to impersonate us.

    There’s evil and evil doers, then there is good.

    “Today, we utter no prayer more fervently than the ancient prayer for peace on Earth. Yet history has shown that peace will not come, nor will our freedom be preserved, by good will alone. There are those in the world who scorn our vision of human dignity and freedom.”
    –Ronald Reagan

    Sorry, but I will not stand by idly while a fellow human being is beaten into the ground for profits. Why is it then that an outcry is rapidly forthcoming when your rights are overlooked or usurped but it matters naught that a systematic abuse of others’ rights is a daily fact and approved of…for profits, or as part of a foreign policy?

    Where is the AFLCIO and the rest of the workers’ unions when others are abused and exploited and go unremunarated?

    What kind of double standards are you trying to promote?
    It’s alright if it happens to them…, I don’t care, as long as it’s not me that’s being exploited?

    When you deal with a Chinese consortium or corporation, it’s the Red Chinese Army that is the controlling majority, a singular and the only controlling majority of the stocks, the same one that used the tanks in Beijing.

    You pick your side and live with it. I’ve already exposed my thoughts on the matter.

    Best wishes to you and your capital. God help the abused and exploited!

  5. We may not like what the Chinese govt is trying to do but remember the oyster – a grain of sand begets a pearl (eventually). Yes, I would prefer to see their censorship ignored, stomped on etc but the reality is that a government whether fair or not has a lot of clout. Let’s just sink them by drilling lots of little holes instead of trying for a torpedo they can see and stop.

    Anyway, since when did we not suffer at least some censorship in our more liberal countries???

  6. Perhaps the rest of the world should sever all internet (and other) connections with China. That would force those bastards to treat their people right.

    Oops. We tried that already. Worked really well.

  7. Re Comment by Tinman57 :” Easy decision for a business…..”

    The makers of soap and lampshades in the Third Reich thought likewise. They made the money and gained a mention in the annals of human history as well, the result of their “business decision(s)”.

    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    The old adage of “If you can’t beat them join them” doesn’t cut the mustard of morality. How much richer could we all become if instead these businesses stood for what’s right?

    Churchill said that “appeasement is the policy of being nice to a crocodile in the hope that he will eat you last.”. Trillions of dollars and millions of lives have already been wasted in defeating soviet imperialism.

    Communist China is well on its way to becoming the next challenge to the freedoms of civilization and its sabre rattlings are evident, its lies rampant and its system’s abuse of human rights well documented, despite their efforts to obscure the truth.

    “In no case can there be any appeasement at the cost of honour. Real appeasement is to shed all fear and do what is right at any cost.”, Mahatma Ghandi.

    “Liberty is the right of every man to be honest, to think and to speak without hypocrisy.”, Jose Marti.

    I suppose that as long as my right to freely say as I think is not hampered, then I should not care if others are denied this, specially if I’m to fill my coffers by ignoring the others’ plight.

    babalus

  8. What do you expect them to do, go up against the government of China and get expelled from doing business with them? It’s not their fault China is a communist country. It’s a business decision, either comply with their demands, or step aside and let some other company willing to comply step in. Easy decision for a business…..

  9. Reporters without Borders needs to take a look at the “Big Picture” The tax breaks received by any so called American Company for eliminating jobs in America are all based on the company’s compliance with the other countrie’s policies regarding censorship, child labor or any other human rights violations.

  10. When it comes to human rights and freedom, most business entities hide behind a wall of profits.

    Earnings first & to hell with right and wrong is the standard. That’s why you get the “bowing” to the rules of a repressive system, one where “Animal Farm” is illegal yet “The Motorcycle Diaries” is lauded.

    The first offers a humorous view of reality in a communist state and the second one is but an enamoured view of the life of a terrorist who said “Silence is argument carried on by other means.”, where the end justifies the means.

    That reminds me of a ditty sung by Burl Ives, “They’ll do anything for money…, for that almighty dollar bill!”

    The only good communist is a dead communist, that is reality.

  11. How would we react if Google (et al) were bowing to USA government censorship ?
    Would we just shrug it off as part of the “regulatory environment” ?
    “Freedom” and “democracy” are not offensive profanity in any sense.
    So, it is not a smut issue.
    It is not a business only issue. It has human rights content.

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