"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)

Monday, June 13, 2005

This Item Contains Forbidden Speech 

Microsoft demonstrates the first rule of success in business - give your customers what they want:
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".

Money talks; freedom walks.

 

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