OK, this one is depressing to me. It’s one thing to pull a list of words out of blogs using an algorithm. It’s another thing to become an agent of a government and censor an entire blogger’s work. Yes, I know the consequences. Yes, there are thousands of jobs at stake. Billions of dollars. But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right.
Rebecca MacKinnon has the details in a post titled Microsoft takes down a Chinese blogger.
Why is this so important to me? Well, you ignore the voices of individual people at your peril. And, I’ve been raised by people who taught me the value of standing up for the little guy. My mom grew up in Germany. Her mom stood up to the Nazis (and got a lot of scorn from family and friends for doing so).
I do believe in a slippery slope. If they come after you today, maybe they’ll come after me tomorrow. Gotta stop this kind of stuff while we’re still talking about you.
Oh, and to: Zhao Jing, aka Michael Anti I’d like to offer you a guest blog here on my blog. I won’t censor you and you can write whatever you’d like.
Guys over at MSN: sorry, I don’t agree with your being used as a state-run thug.
This whole post has a couple of disclaimers. 1) I am assuming all the facts are as Rebecca has presented them. She’s a former CNN reporter and I trust her a lot, but there might be more to the story than is being told — I’m going to try to find out. 2) These are my own opinions, obviously.
I’m copying this post to Christopher Payne, corporate Vice President over on MSN and will try to get his point of view on this.
Update: someone over on MSN Spaces just wrote me and said he hadn’t heard of this and that he’s raising this up the management chain too. I’ll report more as I hear more. he told me that Steve Liffick is the VP in charge of MSN Spaces and that he reports to Blake Irving. I’ve sent email to both of those guys on this issue.