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Blogs & Censorship

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

There is a kerfuffle in Blogsville over censorship in the MSN Spaces available to residents of China.

Let’s make the assumption that without censorship, there would be no MSN Spaces available in China. The assumption seems safe to make, in which case Microsoft is taking the right approach.

I’d like to think that if I was Chinese, and I wrote a blog entry containing the word ‘freedom’, and the site rejected my post for containing ‘forbidden speech’, that my thought process would be the following:

1. The government sucks …
2. … but I’m sure this is easy to work around …
3. … so let me get all my friends blogging, and we can exchange more ideas, and they can get their friends blogging, too….

Having censorship smack you across the fingers with an obvious error message is highly provoking when compared to reading a censored version of the newspaper, and never knowing what lines quietly disappeared. Provocation precipitates change.

Having blogs with censorship is better than having no blogs at all. Blogs facilitate the exchange of ideas. Ideas precipitate change.

One can only hope the Chinese people will one day be able to work outside the confines of censorship, and focus on the important things in life that so consume western culture. You know, like live coverage of the Michael Jackson trial, 24 hour a day sports TV, and keeping the really dirty words off computer screens.

Scotty Saturday, July 30, 2005
Forget about the chinese working outside the
confines of censorship. America has it's own
censorship issues, like the Parents Television Council and Neocons that want to censor the
internet. The conservative radicals in this
country will righteously mess up everything
if people don't pay attention and let their
feelings be known against cencorship. Contact
the FCC or one day they may pull the plug on you.
scott Saturday, July 30, 2005
True, true. Take what is happening with Grand Theft Auto. It's ok to simulate shooting, killing, bombing, stabbing, but include a little voyerism and it's grounds for banning.

I don't understand it.
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