A Followup To China and Censorship

05Jan06

This is a followup to my previous post regarding MSN Spaces and the pro-democracy blogger from China.Microsoft employees are now officially defending Microsoft’s removal of the offending blogger. They’re justifying it by basically saying that a business model will ALWAYS SUPERSEDE any basic human rights…

In China, there is a unique issue for our entire industry: there are certain aspects of speech in China that are regulated by the government. We�ve made a choice to run a service in China, and to do that, we need to adhere to local regulations and laws. This is not unique to MSN Spaces; this is something that every company has to do if they operate in China. So, if a Chinese blog on MSN Spaces is reported to us by the community, or the Chinese government, as offensive, we have to ask ourselves: is this blog adhering to our code of Conduct? In many cases, the answer is �yes, this site is fine�. But, in some cases, the answer is �no�. And when an offense is found that actually breaks a national law, we have no choice but to take down the site.

I would have to question then why anyone would do business in China? It’s about the almighty dollar. Money before freedoms. As long as Microsoft can pursue a quick buck in China, it’s willing to turn it’s head when it comes to basic human rights. The very ones that we hold so near and dear in this country. It’s astounding to me that they don’t recognize this.



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