Microsoft restricts freedom of speech on Chinese MSN Spaces

Posted on Monday, June 13 2005 @ 23:16 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Even huge corporations like Microsoft seem to be forced to apply political censor in China. Today the Financial Times reported that Microsoft's Chinese Internet portal has banned several words like 'democracy' and 'freedom' on its MSN Spaces to avoid offending Beijing's political censors.

Chinese internet users recently reported that Microsoft has banned a whole range of potentially sensitive words. MSN Spaces with names as freedom, democracy, democratic movement and Taiwan independence can't be created anymore.

When a user tries to input the Chinese equivalents of these words, an error message will return stating that their request contained forbidden speech. It also says users should delete the forbidden speech in the input box to proceed.
It was possible to enter such words within blogs created using MSN Spaces, but the move to block them from the more visible section of the site highlights the willingness of some foreign internet companies to tailor their services to avoid upsetting China's Communist government, the paper said.
More info at Forbes

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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