According to an article in the Financial Times, Microsoft – in its unremitting corporate greed – is playing footsie with the fascist regime in China in a way the would make Orwell sit up in his grave:
Microsoft’s new Chinese internet portal has banned the words “democracy” and “freedom” from parts of its website in an apparent effort to avoid offending Beijing’s political censors.
Users of the joint-venture portal, formally launched last month, have been blocked from using a range of potentially sensitive words to label personal websites they create using its free online blog service, MSN Spaces.
Attempts to input words in Chinese such as “democracy” prompted an error message from the site: “This item contains forbidden speech. Please delete the forbidden speech from this item.” Other phrases banned included the Chinese for “demonstration”, “democratic movement” and “Taiwan independence
It goes on:
MSN on Friday declined to comment directly on the ban on sensitive words, but its China joint venture said users of MSN Spaces were required to accept the service’s code of conduct. “MSN abides by the laws and regulations of each country in which it operates,” the joint venture said. The MSN Spaces code of conduct forbids the posting of content that “violates any local and national laws”.
But while China’s ruling Communist Party deals harshly with political dissenters, there is no Chinese law that bars the mere use of words such as democracy.
How pathetic is Bill Gates – what a moral weakling. I didn’t realize he was such a coward.
BTW, I can’t imagine any self-respecting blogger would even consider using MSN Spaces while this policy continues. That would be cooperating with totalitarianism, obviously the antithesis of what we are trying to do. (hat tip: Wichita Boy)
MEANWHILE: On topic – Steyn the Man. The moral of his story – eat your vindaloo! (ht: JB, in the comments)