Microsoft takes down Chinese blogger (my opinions on that)

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.

342 thoughts on “Microsoft takes down Chinese blogger (my opinions on that)

  1. I Turned HIM in on oct. 10 2008

    FBI
    WHERE IS BILL SIMPSON AKA LUKYK9
    What did you do with him!!!!!!!!

  2. Microsoft will continue to rule the world as long as the world continues to run off it’s software…why don’t we all just pull together and use Linux or Mac?
    If we stop footing MSN’s bills, they will change their ways or have to get real jobs like real people and live within their means instead of making more than $10,000 a minute

  3. Microsoft will continue to rule the world as long as the world continues to run off it’s software…why don’t we all just pull together and use Linux or Mac?
    If we stop footing MSN’s bills, they will change their ways or have to get real jobs like real people and live within their means instead of making more than $10,000 a minute

  4. my commend is about the show pepper dennis i think this show is amazing ,josh hopkins brook rebecca lindsay…just evrey one is amazing i always enjoyed my time watching this show .and i wish ther is going to be another season ,and if my words can go to the producer or anyone made this show i want to ask for another season because i loved this show from the bottom of my heart ,and this show effect on me .so my last words are please make another season. with my love i wish for another season .and bye

  5. my commend is about the show pepper dennis i think this show is amazing ,josh hopkins brook rebecca lindsay…just evrey one is amazing i always enjoyed my time watching this show .and i wish ther is going to be another season ,and if my words can go to the producer or anyone made this show i want to ask for another season because i loved this show from the bottom of my heart ,and this show effect on me .so my last words are please make another season. with my love i wish for another season .and bye

  6. I’m from China, getting here by using an austrilian proxy. know this thing long long before in China, all people talk about it on internet.

    Support Mr.Anti,
    and disappointed at Microsoft.

  7. I’m from China, getting here by using an austrilian proxy. know this thing long long before in China, all people talk about it on internet.

    Support Mr.Anti,
    and disappointed at Microsoft.

  8. As several commenters have noted, Yahoo once turned in a dissident to the Chinese authorities, this being rather worse than taking down his blog. Yet I still participate in Yahoo Groups, because not doing so would greatly curtail my ability to spread my own ideas. In effect, to boycott Yahoo is to be censored by Yahoo, and that’s no way to fight censorship.

    Similarly, if I were MSN, might I not take the view that to boycott China is to be censored by China?

    (Declaration: I’m a Linux user and no fan of Microsoft.)

  9. As several commenters have noted, Yahoo once turned in a dissident to the Chinese authorities, this being rather worse than taking down his blog. Yet I still participate in Yahoo Groups, because not doing so would greatly curtail my ability to spread my own ideas. In effect, to boycott Yahoo is to be censored by Yahoo, and that’s no way to fight censorship.

    Similarly, if I were MSN, might I not take the view that to boycott China is to be censored by China?

    (Declaration: I’m a Linux user and no fan of Microsoft.)

  10. Thank you very much for the percise and clear argument. I am studying economics and the development of social institutions and one of the critical issues in this field is the shrinking middle in just about everything: so I really appreciated your common sense argument.

    For what it is worth a big issue in american and international politics is to figure out how to put more well spoken people in the center, and how to talk to each other once more. I think blogging helps. :D

    Also the next generation of Chinese kids should be very interesting when they find more of their voice. They have had a middle class for awhile now and they were discussing things surreptiously through old poetry and issues that sound very unpolitical, such as the “one dog policy,” in Beijing. I don’t know when it will come to a head but it has become a very capitalist place and the dog is a symbol of the old upper and middle classes.

    For the most part I have the understanding that the Chinese Government is trying to stem the spread of ideas but that they have already given up part of their control of desired skilled citizens, who have outside knowledge and are finding ways of getting around the censorship, without letting anyone on the outside know. This preserves the status quo but possibly allowing it to form a new center for a new era. This could be an interpretation of Bill Gates switch in stance over Google, I don’t know enough but he has thrown his hat into the development field these days.

    Its difficult to get good information out of China as it is a closed country, and I’ve heard both positive things and extremely scary things. Its changing fast. I agree attention needs to be paid to the issue of censorship though, it is a huge concern.

  11. Thank you very much for the percise and clear argument. I am studying economics and the development of social institutions and one of the critical issues in this field is the shrinking middle in just about everything: so I really appreciated your common sense argument.

    For what it is worth a big issue in american and international politics is to figure out how to put more well spoken people in the center, and how to talk to each other once more. I think blogging helps. :D

    Also the next generation of Chinese kids should be very interesting when they find more of their voice. They have had a middle class for awhile now and they were discussing things surreptiously through old poetry and issues that sound very unpolitical, such as the “one dog policy,” in Beijing. I don’t know when it will come to a head but it has become a very capitalist place and the dog is a symbol of the old upper and middle classes.

    For the most part I have the understanding that the Chinese Government is trying to stem the spread of ideas but that they have already given up part of their control of desired skilled citizens, who have outside knowledge and are finding ways of getting around the censorship, without letting anyone on the outside know. This preserves the status quo but possibly allowing it to form a new center for a new era. This could be an interpretation of Bill Gates switch in stance over Google, I don’t know enough but he has thrown his hat into the development field these days.

    Its difficult to get good information out of China as it is a closed country, and I’ve heard both positive things and extremely scary things. Its changing fast. I agree attention needs to be paid to the issue of censorship though, it is a huge concern.

  12. Ci2i ist hergestellt worden, um zu verwirklichen, daß eine fachkundige u. lukrative Marktgelegenheit, die im Festland Westeuropa Versicherung Sektorverkaufen besteht, Versicherung Produkte über das Internet commoditized.

  13. Ci2i ist hergestellt worden, um zu verwirklichen, daß eine fachkundige u. lukrative Marktgelegenheit, die im Festland Westeuropa Versicherung Sektorverkaufen besteht, Versicherung Produkte über das Internet commoditized.

  14. u have the story and the connection between jbr and G. if it were ne one else u wud chek it out but since it is the man u r 2intimid8ed 2do so. i think the leer pilot is mr Cox. the traitor in JR’s co is Matt D who is also his biz partner Ramsey Squadron. his A&P mechanic was the “wiper’. from Alameda cal. sincew JR is friend of Bolten’s(probably being b-mailed by Ramsey ) he gets a pass?lou smit is incompetent as is DA Lacy. i don’t expect miracles but they cud do a lil work and chek out the veracity of my story.the press isn’t ready 4the truth but the public is dying 4it.wiki user talk jonbenet

  15. u have the story and the connection between jbr and G. if it were ne one else u wud chek it out but since it is the man u r 2intimid8ed 2do so. i think the leer pilot is mr Cox. the traitor in JR’s co is Matt D who is also his biz partner Ramsey Squadron. his A&P mechanic was the “wiper’. from Alameda cal. sincew JR is friend of Bolten’s(probably being b-mailed by Ramsey ) he gets a pass?lou smit is incompetent as is DA Lacy. i don’t expect miracles but they cud do a lil work and chek out the veracity of my story.the press isn’t ready 4the truth but the public is dying 4it.wiki user talk jonbenet

  16. i stopped by to see what condition my condition was in..a few things crx’d my mind. i neglected to say wen we left out the bak to the patio Matt D pulled a gun.. i took it away from him.. and wen we lifted off the ground i was unhooked and climbed over the”wiper” un hooked him and watched him fall by the light of the moon.if he was luky he was wearing the chute we came in on. i rem flying around the Rockies tossing out white bags 20# a pc. of weed. at various places. we landed at the old Jo Conforte’s Mustang Ranch. the Fly in ‘F’.i took the bouncers pistols and shot up the front of the place. then trew them bak as we took off.we landed in vegas and we were met by PA. he had us driven to the Gold trimmed hotel on the Vegas strip. i pulled up a tree and sang a song. the owner arrived and offerd me a job. PA paid the doorman a Black chip for the mess on the gold carpet. we met with hoods in a suite and then went bak to the Red leer jet. and flew bak to Alameda. i went bak to my boat the Loriet and was met by tow goons who tied me up and hrew me into the canal.. i worked my hands loose and swam to other side of Alameda canal. not one mile from Jack London Landing. what an apropriate place to wind up.

  17. i stopped by to see what condition my condition was in..a few things crx’d my mind. i neglected to say wen we left out the bak to the patio Matt D pulled a gun.. i took it away from him.. and wen we lifted off the ground i was unhooked and climbed over the”wiper” un hooked him and watched him fall by the light of the moon.if he was luky he was wearing the chute we came in on. i rem flying around the Rockies tossing out white bags 20# a pc. of weed. at various places. we landed at the old Jo Conforte’s Mustang Ranch. the Fly in ‘F’.i took the bouncers pistols and shot up the front of the place. then trew them bak as we took off.we landed in vegas and we were met by PA. he had us driven to the Gold trimmed hotel on the Vegas strip. i pulled up a tree and sang a song. the owner arrived and offerd me a job. PA paid the doorman a Black chip for the mess on the gold carpet. we met with hoods in a suite and then went bak to the Red leer jet. and flew bak to Alameda. i went bak to my boat the Loriet and was met by tow goons who tied me up and hrew me into the canal.. i worked my hands loose and swam to other side of Alameda canal. not one mile from Jack London Landing. what an apropriate place to wind up.

  18. JR should b charged with obstruction of justice,tampering with evidence,lying to police,accessory to murder.. B-mail activity,corruption of a minor,org criminal Rico statutes. etc. y can’t a polygraf be attached to him?

  19. JR should b charged with obstruction of justice,tampering with evidence,lying to police,accessory to murder.. B-mail activity,corruption of a minor,org criminal Rico statutes. etc. y can’t a polygraf be attached to him?

  20. karr is stealing the thunder. or not. he may have been in the house,even the basement.(how did he get to Boulder boudoir? did he write the ransom note. is there a secret door to the basement from her bedroom?. was Karr a co-conspirator? who put her in basement?she was a biter and a scratcher. favorite game..”u wanna see how hrd i can bite?” then bite you on forearm.leving teethmarks. full set except for 12year molars.and sharp claw mars on your bak, if u do her missionary. she never stops moving or talking. may be he(karr) was the one who found her and he may have been fall guy. but was helped out by MD or Fleet.Patsy was weak. she would not commit to saying for sure she wasn’t knowledgable. JR definitely cannot weather wx crx examine. who cleaned evrythang?Barby doll house. big Blue ceramic lamp. small long shanked eyebolt,shallow blue plywood tote? nylon line. the staircase. the computer the secret panel in room at top of stairs? lots of stuff was thrown away or changed. who did that?patsy drove away after the perps and took a picture. where is camera and film?how bout pictures of billg with her?my guerss is that he read the facts about basement on my blog the receipt of 118k he guessed at. her phyisical attributes he may have read about on internet. speculation. or the prof is full of it. just a glory seeker. strategists for DA should tell los angeles they don’t want him. he couldn’t have done it. sister gives him alibi for xmas96. film l8er..

  21. karr is stealing the thunder. or not. he may have been in the house,even the basement.(how did he get to Boulder boudoir? did he write the ransom note. is there a secret door to the basement from her bedroom?. was Karr a co-conspirator? who put her in basement?she was a biter and a scratcher. favorite game..”u wanna see how hrd i can bite?” then bite you on forearm.leving teethmarks. full set except for 12year molars.and sharp claw mars on your bak, if u do her missionary. she never stops moving or talking. may be he(karr) was the one who found her and he may have been fall guy. but was helped out by MD or Fleet.Patsy was weak. she would not commit to saying for sure she wasn’t knowledgable. JR definitely cannot weather wx crx examine. who cleaned evrythang?Barby doll house. big Blue ceramic lamp. small long shanked eyebolt,shallow blue plywood tote? nylon line. the staircase. the computer the secret panel in room at top of stairs? lots of stuff was thrown away or changed. who did that?patsy drove away after the perps and took a picture. where is camera and film?how bout pictures of billg with her?my guerss is that he read the facts about basement on my blog the receipt of 118k he guessed at. her phyisical attributes he may have read about on internet. speculation. or the prof is full of it. just a glory seeker. strategists for DA should tell los angeles they don’t want him. he couldn’t have done it. sister gives him alibi for xmas96. film l8er..

  22. it has been awhile since i blogged on.i am surprised at the lack of interest. the main points i am bringing to the table have not been confirmed.i have given this much thot and rackt my brain for more detasils. i need your questions. over

  23. it has been awhile since i blogged on.i am surprised at the lack of interest. the main points i am bringing to the table have not been confirmed.i have given this much thot and rackt my brain for more detasils. i need your questions. over

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