Microsoft censors Chinese blogs

Chinese bloggers posting their thoughts via Microsoft’s net service face restrictions on what they can write.
Weblog entries on some parts of Microsoft’s MSN site in China using words such as “freedom”, “democracy” and “demonstration” are being blocked.
Microsoft said the company abided by the laws, regulations and norms of each country in which it operates.
…The censorship is thought to have been introduced as a concession to the Chinese government.
…Also being restricted on the free parts of the site are journal entries that mention “human rights” and “Taiwan independence”.

Users who attempted to use these words… were greeted with a message stating: “This item should not contain forbidden speech such as profanity. Please enter a different word for this item.”

Realistically, Microsoft must either forfeit the potentially huge China market, or obey China’s laws. Like Yahoo, Google and other Western companies, Microsoft has clearly chosen the latter. What do you think is the ethical choice?

Crossposted on the Egosphere

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One Response to Microsoft censors Chinese blogs

  1. Alphonse

    Objectivism upholds the unity of the moral and the practical. So — within such a framework — is it proper ask for an “ethical,” as opposed to a “realistic,” i.e., practical, choice?

    Either way, I don’t think it is in Microsoft’s long-term interests to deliver itself to censorship.

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