Friday, June 17, 2005

Microsoft censors Chinese blogs

Asharq Alawsat Newspaper (English)

Words and phrases banned in the subject line of entries for Microsoft's MSN Spaces on Tuesday also included "Taiwan independence" and "demonstration," which returned an error message saying "prohibited language, please remove."

Not even former and current leaders' names such as "Mao Zedong" or "Hu Jintao" were allowed.

Most of the phrases, however, were allowed in the body of the entries.

Not a huge deal if it's just in the subject line, but it's a PR disaster for Microsoft - the blogosphere is a very much positioned as a counterculture and going along with Chinese government policy puts MS on the wrong side of the divide.

Chinese bloggers will just go elsewhere, after all... There are always ways to get round govt restrictions, as the Iranian blogosphere shows pretty well...


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