Concern has been expressed regarding Microsoft's willingness to censor blogs originating in China.
While the news is disturbing to anyone disposed to innate liberties, the policy is not all that different than the one employed here in the United States though in less aggressive form.
Towards the end of 2004 when they released their blogging interface, I briefly signed up for one of the Microsoft sites. Not caring for the overall look of the site, I did not keep it very long.
However, even more unattractive than the sites aesthetic limitations were its linguistic parameters that did not permit words such as "Nazi" and even "pornography" or "slut" if memory serves me correctly. Whether this policy has changed since then, I do not know.
Who is Microsft to be the ones to determine the propriety of these non-profane terms in a nation that prides itself on freedom of expression? Are his untold billions no longer enough to satisfy Bill Gates?
Often the rise of the Internet is heralded as a technological development that will unshackle the individual from the oppression of being told what to think and what ideas are fit for public exchange. However, in those regimes where freedom does not exist, this technology can be used to maintain the control of the elite or, in nation's where the people have a bit for latitude in how they are permitted to live their lives, allow for a more subtle form of social manipulation by fostering a culture of intellectual boredom and mental tedium.
Copyright 2005 by Frederick Meekins