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Microsoft reverses blog policy
January 31, 2006 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Microsoft won't delete blogs without proper legal notice. Microsoft has changed its blog censorship policy, previously discussed on MeFi.
posted by b1tr0t (11 comments total)

 
In other news, unscrupolous naysayers suggest the censoring willl be replaced by a computer glitch caused by solar flares.
posted by elpapacito at 3:04 PM on January 31, 2006


Smith said Microsoft will remove blogs only when given proper legal notice. And even then, it will block access to that material only within the country where it is deemed unlawful. The site will still be viewable from outside the country, he said.

Sounds like the same shit to me. If the Chinese want to censor something, Microsoft will comply, but they'll kindly send you a letter telling you that you've been censored, how nice of them.

How about this for an idea, western companies who do business on the internet or provide internet technologies, en masse, inform the Chinese gov't that the internet was founded on the principles of the free sharing of information and ideas and that they'll stand behind those principles.

If and when the Chinese get democracy, the 1 billion people of China will most likely not forget which companies helped to aid the totalitarian regime with curtailing their civil liberties.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 3:20 PM on January 31, 2006


There is a big difference between deleteing a blog, and not allowing it to be readily viewable in just one country. A gazillion proxies exist to get around the just-one-country limitation. Content that is deleted has no workarounds (I'm pretty sure MSN-blogs don't allow google-cacheing)...that's a big difference in this ms-hater's book.
posted by nomisxid at 3:27 PM on January 31, 2006


Also, Mijo, you'd be surpised how much popular acceptance there is of govt censorship in most Asian countries. I wouldn't count on that mystical upswelling of chinese democrats.

That and the internet was designed by the military as a self-repairing network, not a free-information utopia.
posted by nomisxid at 3:30 PM on January 31, 2006


So the new rules are:
Google=evil, Microsoft=good?
I'm confused.
posted by spazzm at 3:43 PM on January 31, 2006


That and the internet was designed by the military as a self-repairing network, not a free-information utopia.

Technically true, but the world wide web was designed with those principles in mind. This censorship is for the world wide web.

A gazillion proxies exist to get around the just-one-country limitation.


Yeah, I'm sure it'll pop up on an internet search on google.cn.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 3:55 PM on January 31, 2006


Irrelevent. The right to free speech is one of the inalienable rights of mankind.
(Much as I hate to depart from Burke - even Hobbes saw that a man should be willing, when others are, to lay down the right to all things and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himself to secure the advantages of peace).

Microsoft is large enough to influence China to join the rest of the world. And it’s in Microsoft’s ultimate interest to allow that kind of free use. They should really make the stand, but like most corporations the follow the money into stagnation instead of taking any initiative.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:51 PM on January 31, 2006


Translation: Beijing will now have to say please before we delete more sites at their request.
posted by clevershark at 4:51 PM on January 31, 2006


spazzm, that's at least a probable reason for the timing of this announcement. MS knows who their new opponent is, and I'll give you a hint: their name begins with G.
posted by mwhybark at 8:57 PM on January 31, 2006


And the pro-Microsoft/anti-Google astroturfing FUD machine has already kicked into overdrive.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:09 AM on February 1, 2006


If and when the Chinese get democracy, the 1 billion people of China will most likely not forget which companies helped to aid the totalitarian regime with curtailing their civil liberties.

Oh please, people in the US don't even care about how they're being fucked now. Memories are short and possible China consumers are many. Companies aren't going to shoot themselves in the foot over your hippy-dippy information-wants-to-be-free ideals and some pie in the sky possible future goodwill.

I ain't saying I like it, but it's foolish to expect companies with a tremendous profit motive to take a stance when we as a country aren't willing to say "hey, if you drive tanks over students you're disqualified in the most favored nation voting process."
posted by phearlez at 10:32 AM on February 1, 2006


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