Remember what happened to Chinese blogger Zhao Jing? His blog was closed down by Microsoft. Following that decision, many parties were outraged. So Microsoft decided to revamp its blogging policy.
News Story by Jeremy Kirk
JANUARY 31, 2006 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) – LISBON — In the face of outrage from many of its own employees over its abrupt censoring of a Chinese blogger, Microsoft Corp. has formulated a new policy to deal with requests from a government that alleges that posted material violates its laws.
From what I understand, this policy will be enforced if the government of the country reports something to Microsoft.
Microsoft is readying technology that will allow the blocking of blogs just within a specific country, Smith said. “We will act when we have the legal duty to do so,” he said. “We will act when we are given the kind of notice that clearly makes that duty binding upon us.”
Also, Google is now involved:
Google Inc. this week was planning to launch a new search service in China that censors some results considered inappropriate by the government. The service, however, will tell users some results have been blocked because of their politically sensitive nature.
I have no direct opinion on this. I think there are advantages and disadvantages of this decision (to bloggers, of course). Anyway I think (and hope it stays that way) that Microsoft can only block MSN Spaces, while Google can only block their Blogger service.
Maybe what these companies are doing is the right thing after all. Maybe China needs closure and protection from the outside world. Some people might say that freedom is the best choice for China, but of course most people are talking out of their asses. Look what happened to Iraq? They removed the military leader and now the country is in chaos. Or again, maybe not. We shall see what’ll happen next. Ooopps.. political 😉